Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zofia Szostak - 1985


Backwards, in other words? They were backwards?

Yes, backwards, but this is, they came at that time, you know. And this one, this finished a little early, so they came and uh, you know, they came and they gave us this exam badge, you know. They knew and they took for granted, okay, if you don't pass this exam, you, you are out even if you, if you pass this one, you know. This was, this was this understanding, and I remember this Father, Father ???, he was helping us to cram up with Latin and uh, you know, now Latin was always my weak point, you know, and uh, I had to, they says, "Now you have to, you have to pass that Latin, it has to be..." you know. And uh, we were really cramming up, and he told us, you know, how, how to, how to go about this, he helped us a lot. And uh, maybe this was a silent understanding, you know, that uh, this was only a certain section was, was picked, that somehow it just happen that this is what we were studying. Who knows? Anyways, at that time Latin was not that important, but it had to be in the paper, you know. But the other things, well, nobody helped us, you had to come out well ahead or not at all. And...but they had to produce teachers, there was not enough, and uh, I have to tell, tell you, there was a great, great spirit at that time, and our teachers, professors, you know, some of them were, that we knew them from before the war, you know, uh, they always said that this was the best class they ever had. And uh, you know, we are all there, we knew what, why we are studying, we wanted to learn. We are asking even maybe for more homework, and sometimes we didn't have books, so we studied in a, in a group of maybe five, six people, you know, which was unheard of. Everybody had a book before, you know, if you studied, you had your own uh, your own books. And we really, you know, we really wanted to uh, make up, you know, for all of this. And uh, I was teaching. Now, during, during vacation, because this was '45, 1945, during vacation time, I had to work, so I worked as a, as a typist in a county, county building. And then I was teaching, but at that time I did not live in uh, in Bochnia, we lived up in the north...northern part of Poland. And I tell you what's happened. So okay uh, Armia Krajowa, you know, Polish Underground was really disbanded, disorganized, they said, "Okay, no more of this." Whether, you know...this was in, still at the end, I believe of uh, 1944, something like this. And then when the war start--uh, after the war, you know and even the war was still going on but the front was already passed through our territory so we consider ours, for us the war was over, you know, in this, our part. So we organized ourselves in different Underground, you know, because... it wouldn't be so, but uh, Russians started arresting, arresting our people, you know, from Underground.

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