Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Josef Slaim - February 7, 1982


Uh, before the war, did you ever encounter any anti-Semitism?

Very much.

Like, like how?

It was very much anti-Semitisms. Especially--it used to be in our little town, it was like twice--every second week actually and on Thursday. Used to be uh, they called like uh, like a market--flea market. People used to come and put up all these things in the market stands and, and ??? mit, mit, you know, the Nazi's started already going. And it says, "Nie kupujcie u Ż'ydów." It means don't buy by Jews. The--they stamp on everybody's table. If uh, customer want to go to the table--you don't let him! You could feel that in every corner. Of course, as a youngster, we wasn't too much afraid of them, because if they went in the street--two boys or three boys, and we went also two, three boys. It wasn't like--I even think they was afraid to start mit us. But we feel it already in the school. We went to ??? in the school. We went in the Polish school, of course, so we feel it right away they started mit us. They beat us up because they was majority in the school, but, you got used to it. We thought, that's the way it ha...should happen, or has to be. But we feel this in every place. They start getting pogroms, you know. They're out and this and this. We start feeling it.

Was there any affect on your uh, on your father's business?

Not specially. Why? Because we deal just mit Jews. We had some uh, Christian customers, but this customers was--they hadn't got that choice if they want to uh, everybody said, "I am not uh, doesn't belong to this organization or whatever it is, you know." But uh, in my father's business was a special hurt. We, we had a lot of problems from uh, even from the police, because the police um, used to give tickets for little nothing--for nothing. They just looked for an occasion. You know, and then you had to go to court and then every place--the, the--discriminate you. Here in this--was--like in--start in '35 you start feeling the anti-Semitism on the street. You was already afraid to walk in the street alone. [pause] That's what's happened mit uh, things. It's too much to say. You go through all this little things. You just don't remember too much. After all it's, it's already fifty years--I mean uh, forty years after the war. Let's see, but uh, and I'm not a youngster either so... [laughs]

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