Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nathan Weiselman - January 1, 1985


They were what?

??? machers means the, the over, the top of the shoes, the leather, not the soles.


It was a shoe, the shoemaker who make the soles. And the over top, that's, that's what, what my brothers used to make.

I see. They worked in leather, they made the tops...

Yeah. The tops.

...of the shoes.

But uh, pays was very, very bad, they, they paid very little, that you hardly could survive. And uh, time of work was very short, was seasons. Highest they could work, four months in summer season, four months in winter seas...season and then it was like they couldn't work anymore. Beside that, the pay was not paid after when they finish the work. When they-the pay was paid in checks and the checks was postdated three months in advance so he couldn't go in the bank and cash the check, like we here in the United States, it's illegal to write a postdated check but in Poland it was not illegal. They were owed from the factory, they'd write a postdated checks that would be used in three months, so, but the money was very urgent needs so my brother went to special discount places, even to some bankers, they charged him, if he got hundreds workers, for his work, they char-they gave him ninety, ninety, ninety workers because ten percent they gave him because they paid him the money in advance before, before it's due.

Who are these bankers?

All kinds of bankers. It...

Mostly Jews?

It was Jews, it was Gentiles uh, you know. It was actually not official bankers, it was unofficial.


And some of them pay ten percent or twelve percent. And really, working for so, so little profit, and then to give ten, twelve percent to, to exchange the money, the postdated check, it was very bad. So, my uh, I, in the beginning I used to help my father. Then my brothers made a shop in their, in their home, so I helped my brothers. Then I went to work in, in a shop like that. And I remember I, he paid me five złotys a week. Like you, like for instance in this time, four złotys was a one dollar, could you imagine, so I made for a whole week a dollar and a quarter.

How many days work?

Six days.

Six days' work.

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