Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nathan Weiselman - January 1, 1985

Education and Work

How many uh, hours a day did you work?

Worked. About, heh, twelve hours, ten hours, from ten to twelve hours.

Six days a week.


You said you also went to cheder.


How could you do that? You were working ten to twelve hours a day. You also went to night school.

No, that time, I, I stopped going to cheder when I, I, when I worked in, in, uh, got the contract with the, it's a ladies tailor. So I, from that time I did go to the night, to the ??? school.

How old were you when that uh, happened?

The, the ??? school, I was uh, eleven.

Eleven years old.


And you stopped cheder then?


Were you bar mitzvahed?

Yeah, I was uh, bar mitzvahed in, If I'm not mistaken, I was bar mitzvahed in about twelve years because it was a custom, if the parents are, like my father was dead, I could have bar mitzvah because I was, they come to the conclusion that I have to be more of a man, or more independent, a year before.

I see.

I had my bar mitzvah about when I was twelve.

Uh, did you or your family have uh, was ah, you, was your family political?

Not really...

??? or ah...

The family, like my father, mother, of course, they were not political. My oldest brother was-were not political. I would say three brothers of us were political. We belonged to labor Zionistic organization. That were called, it was called Hapoel Hatzair

Hapoel Hatzair?


And uh, uh, was your family very religious?

Very religious.

Uh, all right, uh...

The fact is I would like to connect how far religious they were. It happens with my oldest brother, which happened to be when he was born, we, we were affluent, in very good situation. We... We hm, sometimes we made con-have contracts for the ammunitions factory, for the employees, to make them uniforms. Hundreds of them. And so we were in a very good shape. So, so that time, he was, my brother was educated, we have this, the money and he did go to college and he probably knew, before the war, he, he spoke English. And...

Which brother?

My, Shmuel, Samuel. So what had happened, that he was in love with a girl and he was intending to get married with her. And my parents and the family from my parents didn't let him get married with this girl. You know for what reason?


Because an uncle of his girlfriend committed suicide by hanging, and according to the Jewish customs and tradition, it's a great shame to marry a person with somebody from the family committed suicide. So he didn't married.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn