Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Opportunities in Orphanage

...even when I was a youngster with my friend or activities uh, that we were involved in. Uh, I had a lot of ability, a lot of potential rather, to make decisions, to influence others and to learn whatever I wanted to learn. And that, to learn whatever I wanted to learn was not just because I was president. That was the attitude. During the time after the war in the orphanage, I uh, I studied Esperanto. I, at one time--and then I studied drama. I wanted to learn weaving and they facilitated whatever I was--whatever my interests were.

And you were already trilingual. Russian and Polish and Yiddish.

And Yiddish, yes.

And now Esperanto.

And now I studi...I was fascinated by Esperanto. Uh, I was a avid reader and I had a chance to read a lot of, to, to read the classics in Polish. I was giving a st...I was giving private lessons to some children who needed tutoring. I remember I had one girl and I would go to their home uh, and again felt that enormous envy of her home environment, but at the same time, whatever money I made allowed me to, to buy tickets to the theater, standing room only, but I loved the theater. At that time I was also very much interested myself in theater as a profession. And we were, after the war in the orphanage there was no hunger. We had food as much as we needed. And it, it was a very different setting. So in a way, while it felt lonely and a longing for a so-called normal life, I did not feel deprived in the orphanage after the war.

This is in Krakow.


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