Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Silver - June 21, 1982

Pre-War Life

Okay. Can you describe your life before the war?

Before the war, what was it like uh, before the war? Uh, uh it was a life, a normal life, like every Jewish family. I was living in a house and uh, my--I had uh, my first born in uh, 1937, 1937, yeah. I got married in 1936, und uh, my husband was in the army when the war broke out in 1939 and I was left with a child uh, he was three years old. Und then he, he came back after already there was uh, the, the Germans arrived in our town and we uh, run away together. In 1940, I lost my, my first baby.

Wait you are going way too fast. Um, what was your husband's occupation?

You mean before the war?


He was with my father; he was with my father working in a mill.

A what?

A mill, you know a mill that uh, makes flour.

Oh, a mill.


Uh, can you give me the size of your family, immediate and extended?

Uh, my family--we was seven brothers, und my, my father, stepmother and grandmother und when the war broke out I was with them with mein little boy. So we were together seven and uh, seven and nine and we two--eleven.

And how about other family--the extended rather than the immediate--cousins, aunts, uncles?

Oh they were all in the--yes, I got uh, aunties and uncles and cousins plenty, I got uh, uh, three uncles and I got one auntie and I got many cousins before the war, ??? I haven't got nobody was left.

How many were lost? Do you know?

My family--from the cousins, like mein father run away to Russia with my brothers and they survived. They are in Buenos Aires--one brother died in Houston. But my father uh, run away with all the kids to Russia and together with us und the rest of the family my father's two uh, a brother, and a sister and many children, they all perished. My, my immediate family survived.

Can you describe what your family life was like?

Oh, my family life was normal and not so uh, extravagant. I had a stepmother all my life she wasn't so hot to me anyways but uh, then I got married very young und uh, we lived a normal life. My husband didn't make too much money because he was uh, right uh, two years before I got married, a year I got the child, and then they took him away to the army and when the war broke out, he was seven month, seven months in the army.

This is the Polish army?

Polish army, yeah.

Can you describe your community...how many synagogues there were?

In my little town where I lived, it was uh, maybe four small synagogues not too big ones. It was a small town.

How about uh, schools?

Yeah, there was one school.

Was it a Jewish school?

No, it wasn't a Jewish school, it was a cheders. It wasn't a Jewish school it was a cheder like a, like a Rabbi and uh, and uh, teacher. But it was a public school, a Polish public school. I attend Polish public school. And uh, when I went like in the Jewish education, I was going to a Rabbi like a Rabbi, Rabbi, you know, after school.

What degree of assimilation was there in your community?

What do you mean, assimilar like a Jewish uh, mit goyim?


Very small.

Very small?

Very small, I don't remember. 3

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