Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Political Home Life

So at age four you knew who Franco was.

Yes. I knew that he was bad man and I knew that they were doing bad things to people. And so apparently this was a part of, of, of our home and of our life. And it was a home in which we seldom sat down to dinner without someone walking in. Not by invitation, but without someone walking in. And people were walking in, most of them friends, were struggling financially. And I recall one uh, man who was always hanging around the house. Later, later on I realized that he was in love with my mother for many, many years. But he would bring, he would come, he discovered a bakery where when they cut it--when they, they made wonderful cheese cake but apparently in a sheet but then they were cutting it individual pieces and they were selling the edges by pound, very cheap. And he would come with a pound of those cheese edges. At another time he would come with a bag of ends of salami. So they were not people who were well to do. They were struggling. But there was a close bond between them.

All through politics do you think?

Uh, is it through politics? Through their social beliefs. I wouldn't call through politics, through their social beliefs. And some--quite a number of their friends were Jewish. But their social activism and politics were a big part of their life.

Do you think your father considered going to Spain?

I don't know. I don't know if he considered going to Spain, uh. I think my mother would be opposed to it, but I don't know. There were two little kids and I, I couldn't tell you. But my father and my mother would always make jokes and kid around. He would--he talked in his dreams, and he talked in his dreams with, with--in a great energy and a--about what you should do to those--political always--"Let's organize the unio...the workers, let's organize the..."And my mother said to him, "You could never keep a secret, all one has to do is sleep with you."

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