Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Natalie Zamczyk - January 30, 1984


When you were growing up, the neighborhood you were in, was it mainly Jewish, or was?

Yes, yes. They were uh, not the Jews only, but mostly Jewish people were living there in that neighborhood, mostly. When the holy day came up it was so beautiful. I remember uh, the Rosh Hashanah. The people were going from all over, they are coming to the synagogue. There were synagogue surrounded. And mine, and uh, we had uh, apartment on the second floor and they are windows from the bedroom and the other room were on the street. There were young girls. In Europe, the children didn't go to synagogue like they are going here. We only went to the uh, Shachris, you know, in the morning, you know. Hear the, the blowing the horn, you know. But uh, uh, I remember, I never forget, like uh, Yom Kippur, you know we're fasting, and I was already thirteen years old, I was thirteen, I was starting to, well, you know, we want to show off. So I remember when my mother baked the cakes and she put them in a, you know, and the smell of it and the hunger. We were looking, when they are coming back that we can already... That's funny, I shouldn't even talk about it, I don't think so, it's funny. But, you know, this brings memories. That was my... Well, yeah.

Did you have much contact with the uh, the non-Jewish community? Were there, was there much prejudice then or did you?

Well, I actually, I had, I had few girlfriends what they're Jewish, what we are grown up together, okay. But uh, I had lots of contact with not Jewish uh, because I was working when I was uh, not eighteen yet. I went, I was working with the one office where I mentioned before, and uh, there were working people, non-Jewish either. There two brothers was employing me, you know. They hire me and they were surprised that I was Jewish. We never hired a Jewish girl in our office. I don't know how you're going to work out. You know how it is? But they really liked me later. And even my sister was working there when she finished school and I got married, yeah. So I had contact with non-Jewish. You see, anti-Semite...anti-Semitists was always there, it was always there, but there were people what they didn't show, there were people what showed. It was always like that. The same was during the war. I had friends what helped me, you know. On..., they didn't ask for nothing. They helped me because they had compassion and they are good people. But anti-Semitists was always there, always there.

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