Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nathan Weiselman - January 1, 1985

Growing Up II

So one time it came, the union tried to better our situation, and to raise, to, like, in my category, I was about two years in this trade. They, they sent the boss a price that what they want for my work, one złoty more. That means a quarter more. So we strike for six weeks and it was strike breakers and they were very poor, the people, and hungry so didn't have another choice and they went back to work for the same condition like before the strike. So when my father heard that I have to go to my boss and beg him again for the job, that I work for the same amount, the five złotys a week, he said, "No, you're not going to go back. I take you. He took me around, I was still a little boy, you know. [pause] How can ten years old? And you're going to be a tailor. He told this, "I'm not gonna let you go to go back there begging for the job for the same uh, five, five złotys." So he said, "I'm going to do everything, you going to sign a contract for three years, without money." So I signed a contract for three years, at very nice establishment, for uh, ladies apparel uh, we made ladies clothing, ??? tailor made. So I worked for quite of years and I made uh, pretty good money and I was more happier than I were with my first trade. Then my father died when I was eleven years. And I made more money than my brothers. Who were, the, in the leather, you know, industry. And I probably could say that I mostly support the family because they made so little money, they, it was, uh, very little left, but I made much more money.

Did you get an education?

Yup, we go to a cheder.

Was, was it, uh, uh, it was a Jewish education, a cheder?


Uh, did you go to a government school, a Polish school?

Yup, they go at night to, in order to have, to open a tailor shop, you have to have a, two kinds of diplomas. You have to have a diploma as a worker that you can do the work and make independent and then you have to have a diploma as a, as a designer. Cutting and designing. So I have to go, this was a government supported night school that I went and I accomplished myself in, in various-my, materials, that I have the knowledge, and various kind of uh, figuring, how much we need for one gown, and to make a coat, and how much we need for hundred so far, and how much it would cost the lining and the, all the trimmings and, and so forth. So, I did go for several years to the night school while I was uh, working.

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