Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Food in the Labor Camp

Now what was, what was it like on a day-to-day basis? Your father was in a labor gang?

My, all my, everyone was working. I mean, everyone in the family was working all day long in the cement factory.

Including you?

No, not I.

No, not you.

No, I was the only one. But my sister was working and as an eight year old kid I was just roaming around and my job in the summer was to prepare the, to prepare the dinner. I also remember that we had a plot, a very small plot of land there. We could--we were kind of uh, cleared quite a distance from where we lived. And we could go and we planted potatoes. And uh, this really helped us survival and the po...throughout the winters the potatoes. And there were huge, a kind of a bin we had of potatoes. And the treat was to have baked pota...we baked them in the--on the fire, and a special treat was when we were able to get a herring, to have a herring with a baked potato was the delicacy. But we ate a lot of potatoes and I learned how to pick potatoes.

Where did you, where would you get a herring?

In the store, there was a local store and occasionally they would bring in some, but that was a rarity.

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