Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Weiss - October 7, 1994

Religious Life

Um, your family's very religious it looks like.

Yes. Yes.

Did you--did you go to a public school as well as a Yeshiva?

I did went. I did went. My schedule was wake up five o'clock and I went to the uh, well, when I was younger I went to the cheder. We davened and after davening, we learned, we davened, we went to the public school till twelve o'clock. And from twelve o'clock we went to the cheder and later I went to the Yeshiva of the Kociner rebbe. Till, till they close up the Yeshiva.

The school you went to--did you speak Hungarian or Czech?

Yes. Uh, we had there Hungarian schools and then Czech schools. And the last two years in 1936 and '37, I did went to the Czech school.

So first you went to Hungarian school?

First I went to Hungarian school.

Uh, did you have any non-Jewish friends?

Very little, very little, very little because we seen the anti-Semites growing already. I personally was very afraid of the little shavers. And they beat me up. They beat many up. I had payes. They pulled it. Yes.

Did your father do business with any of them. I mean was he...

Well, well, well not--no, not really. We didn't have much to do with the Goyim no.

So the vineyards that he worked in...

That belonged to Jewish people.


??? Jewish people.

Tell me something about uh, uh, Friday night in your house.

Oh Friday night. We waited for that. At Friday outside in the streets you could see Shabbos is coming. You could see it; you could see it. And somehow that little house transformed into a castle. It was beautiful. Somehow you looked at that light; you looked at that light. Really if you go back, Friday was the day you went to the mikveh. And really, that was the only place you bathed. Uh, if you were--when you were smaller you did bathe in, in a...um, what would be the name for it, uh...

A shisl?


A basin?

A, a, a ba...a basin would be a very good name for it. But when you, when you got older as far as I know that's the only place you bathed was in the mikveh. And after the mikveh, you were hurrying--everybody was hurrying, doing to get ready. And you could see it. As I said you could see it. You could feel that Shabbos and yom tov was, it was, it was a real holiday. It was a real holiday. And then naturally uh, what you didn't have the whole week, was meat. So you looked forward to that if you were lucky uh, uh, fish and fleisch, the meat, the chicken soup, and it really, it had a taste. First of all, you didn't eat it the whole week. Here it's Monday, Thursday. But that was, that was, a real, a real Shabbos. And in my town, I would say and this is not just in my town, I would even--in Carpatha Rus, ninety percent for sure, they were Shabbos observers, yom tov observers. And I'm sure that many people will say the percentage is higher.

Did you go to shul on Friday?

Oh there wasn't such--I mean to shul I went twice a day, every day. And I didn't know if the temperature what it will be, or the snow how high it will be, there was never a question. Unless if you was really sick, really sick you didn't went to shul. But there was never a question to go to shul every day, every day, twice a day and from Shabbos and yom tov and not be late either. There was no question about that.

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