Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Cohen - April 18, 1982

Living Conditions in Ghetto [interruption in interview]

...of European big dining room, or big living room, or say twenty by--twenty-five by twenty-five, for instance. And four to eight families would get that one room. Each family would be desi...would get a designated corner where you bedded down your uh, bedding, whatever bedding you had. Nobody could carry uh, big mattresses, but it would be some kind of a bedding. Designate a corner and you bedded down and all the whole spiel--the whole family would sleep there. In the other corner there'd be another family. And here you'd have a young couple there that probably just got married a few months before. And then you would have a third family in the other corner and, and sort of, there were no furniture in the room. Total empty hall, bare floor, those beautiful carpetings were taken off. No nothing, just a huge room with people wall to wall is what I remember. And then um, they had a, in our particular house that--not our house, the house we stayed in--in the, in the backyard there was another smaller home and I would gather that there was a pretty wealthy family that owned that home before, because there was a servants' quarters plus a huge kitchen. In that kitchen all of the people living in this particular household cooked whatever foods they got. We, we were given a, a certain amount of rations brought in from the stores--divided, you'd have to line up and you'd get your foods. Um...

It was a central building.

A central building out of the whole street of uh, houses in the ghetto. There would be one central building and milk would be brought in and--you know, I don't even remember if you had to pay money for that or was it already prepaid or how you went about it. You know, it just, I remember having to line up to get the foods. But whether I paid? It was inside the ghetto already. I think it was a community purchase and everybody would have a, a ticket or a card or a little booklet--how many of, in the family, and you would get supplies accordingly.

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