Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Natalie Zamczyk - January 30, 1984


Sure, sure. Did you encounter any anti-Semitism at all here, or in Canada?

Oh yeah.

Did you?

Yeah. I didn't feel myself, because they didn't know that I am Jewish, you know. But sometime, you know, funny thing, funny thing honey that when I came to Canada I apply for the job, you know, they send me for the job from the Jewish community there. They wanted to help me because I, you know. I said, no, I don't wanted help, I'm young and strong. I was young woman this time, yeah, and I want to work. So, and I came for work, it was Jewish company, Jewish people. And when I came there, there were lots of German people employed. So he said to me, the boss said to me, you know what, you don't have to tell nobody that you're Jewish. When they ask--don't advertise, he told me. You have name, not Jewish--Zamczyk, you know, Polish--don't say, don't, you have, don't have to advertise. He said to me, so finally, because I didn't understand English too much and he tried to Jewish a little. Nice people. So I said, okay. And I went to work. And this uh, uh, this uh, man was worked there, how you call this, the foreman was Jewish. And he told me like this. So the man asked me when I came to work, they give me to him, so he asked me where I lived from, was Czechoslovakian. So I said, I'm from Krakow. Where you were during the war? In Krakow, in, in Poland, I was. What you were doing? I said, I was secretary for German. Secretary stenographer, so I had nice job and the second day he gave me, he took a German woman from the job and put a different, my good job what I had before with her, and he put me on her terrible job washing something terrible. I was crying. When I was going home, I was crying, it was raining I remember under the umbrella. My nails were broken. Terrible job, washing some rubber. I--blood was coming from this. I said, why he did to me this, I don't understand, you know. And I was working on the job for two, three days. Later the ???, there were Jewish men working also, nice, one man. And I came to him and I ask him, tell me please, are you Amhu? You know what is Amhu? Amhu was a word between Jewish people. After the war you can't, when you want to know if somebody's Jewish, you say are you Amhu.


When he said he didn't know, so he isn't, you know. So I ask him. He said, yes, how do you know the word, the man said. I said, because I am Jewish. He look at me, he said, oh my God, oh my God, and he called the foreman. Come here Jack, come here. I said, what happened? I moved out. And he told me that I am Jewish. He said, oh my God, oh my God, I thought that she is a German, some Nazi German. She looks like a German and she tells me that she is, that she's a secretary for this. Oh my God, oh my God. Right away he found the best job in the place. He put me the next day at the best job and the other he put on the same job and he apologized to me. And we are the best friends since then. They still live in Windsor. But they are coming here. We are the best friends. He likes to tell the story to everybody. You ask me, I wouldn't tell you that.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn