Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zofia Szostak - 1985


Now when...do you remember when Piłsudski died?

Yes I do, mm-hm.

Tell me about what happened in your household and in your community.

Now, uh, that I remember, because uh, well, you know, this was, when, when he died, was May, you know, May the 12th, I believe. And um, my father, he, you know, woke up and my mother told him, or rather, she woke him up, 'cause she was preparing breakfast, and she overheard on the radio news that Marshal Piłsudski died. And uh, so she woke him up, and she said, you know, Piłsudski's dead. And I will never forget uh, you know, my father was just getting dressed quickly, and he says, "What will happen to all of us now?," you know, so he, he had this feeling that as long as Piłsudski was, was alive he would keep us somehow, you know, somehow he would keep Poland, you know...and um, well, then, everything, he was under impression that everything afterwards would crumble, you know. And uh, now we had our other, you know, friends, who were thinking a little bit different, you know, because he, well, he was a dictator, let's, let's face it, you know, he was a dictator. But I was too, too young to understand this. You know, like during, uh, during, you know, class for singing, we had to sing about uh, legiony, you know, legions, you know, about this and that, so to me, he was a very, very romantic, romantic person, you know? Very romantic figure, and then everybody said that he liked children very much, and things like this, you know...probably the same things, probably the same they were saying in, in Germany about Hitler. Now, that you can erase.

Do you remember...do you remember, um, say, any time around 1938 when uh, the German government was expelling German Jewish citizens and sending them to Poland? Did any come through your city?

Now there, you know, I did not hear very much about this, I really didn't. Obviously uh, maybe because those people were going to larger cities, larger communities. And uh, where I lived, I don't think so, you know, anybody from Germany, coming from Germany and having any kind of money with them, they wouldn't like to come to a small community like this. You know, rather they would stay maybe in, in Warsaw or Kraków...yeah.

Now let's go back to the war a little bit, then.

Yes, mm-hm.

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