Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998


The following is an interview with Mrs. Irene Sobel at her home in West Bloomfield, Michigan on the morning of September 8, 1998. The interviewer is Sidney Bolkosky.

Could you tell me your name please and where you're from?

My present name is Irene Sobel and I was born in Warsaw, Poland.

And your name before you were married?

When I was in Poland, my name was Elena, which is the Polish version of Irene Miller.

You were born in Warsaw.


What if anything do you remember about life in Warsaw before the war?

Uh, I remember quite a lot. My parents probably led not the very usual life of a Jewish couple, of a Jewish family. They both came from Orthodox homes, but turned away from religion; my mother probably when she was in her teens, and I don't know exactly when my husband uh, turned away from religion, but they considered themself atheists and were very actively involved in political and social life, and social according to the community life. Uh, we lived in a Jewish neighborhood on a street called ???, which is "small niska". Uh, my father was by training an accountant but apparently had difficulty finding work as a Jew uh, in that field. And he worked, ended up working as a carpenter, a skill he learned as his father. By the time I remember, they had a small furniture shop, away from home in some rented uh, area and he even had a few workers working with him. We were not rich, but uh, did not lack in anything, in no essentials.

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