Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Cyla Wiener - July 13, 1992


You didn't live in a Jewish neighborhood?

Yeah...a joint Jewish neighborhood, yes. But, I didn't suffer. I was working with a gal who was Polish and we were the best friends really. During the war she was helping me a lot, you know, during the second war, you know. So...and I went to school. I did feel special anti-Semitism.

So you went to public school?

The public school.

What did your father do?

My father was a painter. My brothers, you know how it is with...he couldn't afford to send the children to school, you know. Especially they finish seven grade school and they went to work. Everybody was working, you know. My brothers working and they were uh...how you call this...tradesmans, tradesmen. Not bad job, you know. They start family life. They got married, you know.

How large was your family in 1939?

In 1939 my brothers, six of my brothers were married already.

With children?

With children. I was married, I got married in '37. I was a milliner, doing ladies' hats. I was very good in this and I was very talent. I, I even had proposition in this. I...I was very good drawer and painting. I used to paint pictures and somebody was interested in them. She said she would want to send me, she would help to send me to a school, you know, to educate, to education special in art. But my mother was against this, you know. She was afraid I would go with some, some uh, you know, with a Gentile. He was a Gentile guy, you know, professional. And I give up and I start to work in milliner. By 18 years, I have a business for myself. In 1918, I have girls working for me, five girls working for me. I was working during the holy day, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and Passover. I was working day and night sometimes, really. I was very busy and I was good in this, you know, and I loved my job, you know, and then I met my husband, you know, and he was a...accountant, working.

So how large would you say, by 1939...


Your family?

How large?

How large?

The older brother, my older brother is a difference of you know, years between us. You know when I was ten years he got married, you know. So he has two sons. The second one has two sons and one girl. One brother has four girls and one son. And one has only one son, one has one daughter and Fred's father has two boys, two sons, you know.

So how large do you think, cousins, aunts, uncles...

Cousins, I have a lot of cousins. Uncles. I have even an uncle who was twice in America, and came back from America, back, you know. Too bad really he did it. His three children was born in America. And before the war, all escaped to America, but they were citizens, American citizens, you understand?

But he didn't?

He didn't. He was killed in concentration camp.

What were the names of your brothers?

My brothers? Yea? The older was, his name was Herman, then the second was Leon, Arnold, then was Rubin, and Morris, and Roman, Fred's father, and then I have a brother who still lives in Century Village. His name is Issac, you know. And then there was Al, me Cyla, and the younger brother of mine was Jack, his name was Jack, you know. We called him Yonic, you know in Poland. Jack, he passed away already.

How many survived the war?

Oh survivors? Six of my brothers were killed during the war [crying]. Then my, three sister-in-laws were killed during the war. Children of my brothers, my child [crying]. I had a son in ghetto, in Kraków, in Ghetto, I have a son, you know. Cyla Wiener - July 13, 1992 - Her Son

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