Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Natalie Zamczyk - January 30, 1984

Remembering the Ghetto

Um, I'm going to go back a little bit, uh.

I spoke too much. Somebody's talking so much?

Oh sure.


Sure. Uh, when you were uh, when you were in the ghetto...

Yeah, yeah.

...and you got, you got the papers to get out.

Yeah, yeah.

Did you have trouble getting out? I mean, you said that your sister-in-law had come to visit you and another, when you were working.


How did you get...

No, no, no, I mean, no, what is sister. Sister-in-law, I said, came to me to the...

In Warsaw?

...to Warsaw, yeah, now but we're talking about that ghetto.


How I was getting out of the ghetto.

But how did you get out, yeah, how did you...

There, there was a, a, a, you know, a big uh, entrance, you know, maybe circles or something, you know.

As long as you had the papers, you could...

Yeah, I had to ask for a permission.


And my husband knew the, the man the, the manager on the, he was also from Austria. And my husband during the first war he was in Aus...in Vienna for two, three years. They run away from Krakow. And he talk German, Vi...Viennese dialect, Viennese, beautiful.


So he made friends with him, you know, with this man. And whenever he want a permit, so he went to him, he give him permit, you know. Yeah.

Yeah. What about education like for your son when you were in the ghetto? Uh, did, did people set up schools or was there any?

I, I don't know because my son wasn't... I don't think so there was a school. The, the children didn't go to school, no. Maybe some, listen, like for example, the mother teach them.


Like my son was this age in '4...wait a moment, in ghetto I was in '4...'4...'41 I went to ghetto, '41 I went to ghetto. So how old was Norman, he was born in '33. Eight years old, eight years old. No, I teach, I teach him, I teach. I think that, that I, I don't know, maybe there was private teaching like this. Maybe there was private uh, tutor that... He was study music, because he was. That's why he played. He, he was taking music, you know, from uh, from one uh, he was teaching music, coming to his house teaching music.

This is in the ghetto.

Yes, yeah. He had piano at home, but here you couldn't have piano, you know. So that's why my husband bought him a small accordion, and this one was coming and teaching him music, yeah. He was very talented.

And uh, when he, when he joined you, when you, when your son went to the ghetto and joined you...

Yeah, yeah.

...um, how did you feel? I mean, how did you...


That must have been very difficult for both of you, but for him too.

Was very difficult for him as a child. I had to prepare him.


He was prepared by my husband, that he's going for false paper and I was preparing for it. I wonder that he is normal. I really wonder that he is normal, that he's normal mind. Because this boy was constantly reminded, like children in the evening are going to bed to say prayer, so my prayer was to him remind him. Morris, remi...remember, forget that we are Jewish.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn