Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zofia Szostak - 1985


Can you tell me your name please, and where you are from?

I am Zofia Szostak, and uh, I was born in uh, Tczew, in ???, Poland, you know? And then during the war, I was in Bochnia, for--about 40 kilometers away, southeast of, of uh, Kraków, and uh, is little salt-mining city, you know? And then during the war I was in, in Polish Underground.

Was this the Armia Krajowa, the Free...?

Armia Krajowa, yes.

Can you tell me a little bit, um, about your life before the war? Um, where you were, what your family was like?

Well my mother was, was a teacher, and my father worked uh, in an office. He was...he was working just like--how to say, like, like for Internal Revenue, you know? He was going and checking, checking some papers, books of big companies, you know, they, they were carried on, you know, business was carried in a proper way, you know? And then I went...I went to school, you know, I went to elementary school in Tczew, then, then in Gdynia we lived over there for a little while. Then when my parents retired, you know uh, we moved, this was just, like, about three years before the war, we moved south, to southern part of Poland, because this is where they really originally came from, and uh, my mother, she was born there, because this was where she...where she finished uh, teachers' seminary, so she had some friends over there and uh, this is where I finished my uh, fifth and sixth grade of elementary school, and then I went to gymnasium over there too.

How large was your family?

I was the only one; I was adopted, you know, because my parents didn't have children of their own, and uh...

And aunts and uncles? Did you have immediate family?

Uh, not, not very close, you know, they were all spread all over the Poland. Now my mother's uh, family, closest one, closest brother was in eastern part of Poland, in uh, ??? near Sworoń was a little piece of land they owned. And then uh, my, my father's family was near, near Kraków. His, his oldest brother lived in Kraków. Then another one too...then another one...lived in uh, uh,--now where did they live? Near Jarosław this is eastern part of Poland, southeast. And, well...but, mostly was just, just my, my father, mother and I, you know? Just, just the three of us, yeah, you know?

Did your parents survive the war?

No they didn't uh, but they were one of the very few lucky ones that they died their own, own death, you know. My father died of a heart attack, and my mother had a, got a stroke about a month later and uh, passed away quickly.

During the German occupation?

Yes, mm-hm, 1942.

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