Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Natalie Zamczyk - January 30, 1984

Remembering the Ghetto II


Forget that you are Jewish. Remember, whenever something happened to me at work or someplace and they would come, the German would come even with the, this uh, you know, with the revolver and they will tell you we found your mother and your mother said that she is Jewish and you are Jew also, you said, that's not true. Don't admit, don't ad... Remember because otherwise they are going to kill you. And this my son was having every so often reminded of it. When we--I wanted to do what is mean when you have to. This child understood this, you know. And when we were leaving on the, when I left the first uh, in the, the first war, you know, what I have to run away and he came to me. So we are living for, on the, in the village maybe for, I don't know, for about two months, I don't remember exactly. The Christmastime came, remember, and my husband was also, I, I already know that my husband was gone, you know. So the Christmas came, so the bride of the friend, you know, friend...she and uh, and, she and uh, I still was staying with them. Later I had to move because I didn't have money anymore. So she--Christmas, so the lady of the house we bought together with her some groceries, and she cooked everything. I knew everything about Christmas because maids, we had maids at home and we allowed them to have a Christmas tree, you understand? And uh, my mother cooked even for her. She knew what...my mother came from a village when she was together with uh, Gentile people, growing up, going to school, you know, and, and she knows about it and I knew about it also. So I--we gave her the money and we help her to cook everything. And I was uh, friends with the lady, the young lady, the Christian lady, we were in another room, in our room. And my Morris was in the other room with the landlady. And the landlady you hear that she's starting to asking questions. That's what I wanted to point to the child. She asked him questions, she asked him, listen, Morris uh, uh, we are going to have nice tree. Did, how was ever, how about, you are not going, momma is not going to buy you a tree? He said, no momma is not going to buy me tree because, you know, my daddy was arrested. My daddy uh, my daddy was arrested--but she didn't know why, she thinks that he was arrested as a underground or something--was arrested and uh, and I can't uh, and momma, and momma can't uh, buy me a tree, we can't celebrate it. So she ask him, and what about home when you were at home in Krakow, did you have a tree? I was paralyzed. What he going... And she is, oh my God. And I hear his little voice say, yes, we used to have a tree through the ceiling.


Through the ceiling, hit the ceiling. And the lights was up, and we have lights, yeah lights, and ornament, and, and little things, nuts--he saw someplace--and nuts and everything, it was beautiful, yeah. We were a very nice holy day, it was beautiful, but this year we can't have it. You know, when the child came back to our room, I said, how do you know? I said, I have to say, I couldn't say otherwise. I remind myself of the neighbors, she said. Imagine. See that's what we saw you, how the child, children's minds work. When they need, they really have to survive, they, they have, you know. So.

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