Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zofia Szostak - 1985


Where did you meet them?

Oh, at our, our friend's, you know, and uh, they, they allowed us to stay for a little while, and then, then we found another place, and another place, and then another place; things like this.

Let, let me go back for just a minute to the uh...before the war. Um, do you remember ever hearing about or witnessing any kind of anti-Semitism? In school, um, among people you knew, or...

Now, uh, being as young as I was, you know, I did not, just like--I know that my, my own parents were really not, not anti...anti-Sem...you know, how do, how do you call this?


Yes, they were not. Now, I had nanny who was telling me all sorts of stories and really, you know, when I was small, you know, she, she was really kind of frightening me, you know, about this, and say, "Okay, if you go over there you know, and, uh, you know, uh, floor might open up, you know, and then you will go, and then there's some, uh, some knives and this, and they will drain your blood," things like this, so I was really pretty scared. But then I went to school, uh, and had some, some, some boyfriends and girlfriends, you know, who were, who were Jewish, you know, and I, I couldn't imagine them doing, or anybody, you know, their family doing something like that. Anyways, I was already too wise for, for this, you know? But, I--now this, this is my, maybe not very complimentary what I am going to say--that is, not going to say very, very good about me, you know, but, what was my own um, attitude, for example? Okay, I had those, those friends, and uh, I could not really understand them, and uh--now we had during, during May, for example--we had May services for Our Lady. And we were decorating the statue of Our Lady in our, our class, classroom, you know? And, um--of course, she wasn't doing anything like this, because she was, she was Jewish. And, I, I looked at, at her and I felt, I felt sorry, you know, that she did not, she could not share uh, this experience. I couldn't see, you know, I could not understand this, or rather I couldn't understand this, or I was too stupid, you know, to understand it. Well she had different kind of religious experience, you know, and this...and I felt sorry, why, you know. Oh well, she is poor, poor Jewish girl, who does not go, go to the church, and she cannot go to uh, you know, she cannot enjoy those May services, and, it's just like I felt sorry that she was missing something. Forgive me.

You never saw anyone uh, get, get harassed or beaten? School...

Not till...uh, not, not in our school. I heard about this, and this I found out only from the press that this was, before the war, uh, this was during, hmm...in eastern part, you know, of Poland, there was some, some commotion at universities and things like this, but uh, nobody talked much, much really about this, you know. And uh, they were saying that some group of young, young people were doing this and that, but it's--I really never heard of, of any, any Jew being killed, you know.

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