Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sally Tuchklaper - March 2, 1983

Life Before the War

Tell me something about the community that you lived in.

Uh, we lived in very nice community and it happens to be like here they call it a high rise but this was not that more than three floors. And the whole building was family. Very little outsiders. Family. So we were always together. We enjoyed it.

How about um, synagogues? Were there um, were they located...


...close to your home?

Close by and we observed--in Europe we observed Friday afternoon ??? everybody came to observe, you know, to go to shul--Shabbat. This was a resting day. A lot of people that they observed much, much more than me but Sabbath was Sabbath.

Tell me something about what you remember of the Friday night.

Friday night was very special in Europe. First of all, my father was away the whole week from Monday 'til Friday morning. And he used to come home; my mother used to prepare everything. It was like a tradition that Friday nobody even--the kids would go away anyplace. We knew that we have to be--when Friday comes, home to shul--to have the traditional meal with everything. And Friday night nobody went no place. We were sitting home with uh, with the parents or we went outside, you know, just like that. But it was Friday night that we observed very, very much.

Your sisters and brother, were they younger than you?

Yes. I'm the oldest. I have two sisters and a brother.

What kind of education did you and the other children receive?

Just public; that's all. Just we finished to public school, and that's all. And didn't have much time because a couple years later the war broke out.

When you attended school was it mostly with Jewish children?

No, no. It was Catholic but it was a public school uh, regular school that was everybody was going.

What did you do for recreation after school or in your spare time?

We had the playgrounds. We'd see like outside, in the house, we went to play with the--with friends and, you know, cousins and things. Right after school we did homework and we played outside. We didn't have recreation rooms like here but we played--we enjoyed whatever we had.

Did you have Gentile friends in...


...your neighborhood?

Yes, we did.

Did you experience any anti-Semitism before the war?

Not as much. No. Not in my neighborhood. I wouldn't say it someplace else, but not in my neighborhood. We were very close--we were down there close by--where we very, very good ??? we never had anything, you know, begin.

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