Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lola Greenspan - April 25, 1983

Life in Myszków Before the War

Yeah. Um, do you mind if we go back...


...and I ask you something...

Yeah, okay, yeah.

...be...before the war...

Yeah, before the war.

...when you were at home, um, what did your father do for a living?

My father went a shoes--shoe making.

Okay, okay. And um, can you tell me about your, your town? What it was like? How many people?

Yeah the town is were small...


...Myszków, many Jewish people. Maybe about five thousand, five thousand. And religious city, very, very religious city, yeah.

What were the uh, what were the Gentile Polish people like? Was there much anti-Semitism before...


Was there much anti-Semitism before the war?

Yes, yes very anti-Semitic, very anti-Semitic, yeah. Every time just no Jewish, Jewish, Jewish, Jewish. When I went in the school and I got a lot of friends--I looked like a Polish girl and I got a lot of girls--Polish girls mixed with Jewish girls, boys and every time they say my name in the school the girls call me, "Laosha." In the scho...Polish, "Laosha," not Leah. And then half the time they say, "Oh she's Jewish. Oh a Jewish girl. She not supposed to be with us." The girls Polish. And I talk to teacher, I said, "Why?" She said to me in Jewish--she don't have to talk to me like this--and said this teacher he don't let girls said to me like in Jewish is were ???. And then we go out, we got to the outside for work and all girls talk to me say, "Laosha you wanna go with us? You wanna go with us?" I say, "Okay." I don't want to be mad. So okay, ??? is his name, he tooked me dancing, always playing together the girls, the boys. It were good, but the teacher said, "Don't say you're Jewish because you're a good girl." The teacher...


...the Polish teacher, yeah. And then we got a store from Polish kielbasa. It not me, we just got neighbors. I lived the other one and Third Street is all Polishes. Were a lot of girls--daughters of men, and the girls--one girl were Tricia, the same age were me. And she want to play with me class, boats, everything and she got a bicycle ??? and she said, "Laosha, come on over, we gonna play this and this." And later on I said, "I keeped ??? very nice and close." Pesach--we kosher, we very kosher in Poland, very, very kosher. And my mother she gaved me a small can to play and I play outside. She coming with a little kielbasa, special and she put me and I start to cry in the house, I said, "Mom she put me this, I been not Polish--I been Jewish and she make me Polish." "Don't worry, I will throw away this." And she throw away, right away. Later on I say, "Tricia, I don't want to play with you more. You been a bad girl. Why you put in my hand a piece of kielbasa?" Yeah. She said, "No this is nothing, this is nothing." Said, "This is Pesach. Jewish Pesach is a Jewish holiday." "Ah, Jewish holidays," she said, "why Jewish holiday? We haved everybody Sunday holidays." She talk to me like this. She were the same age where I am. Yeah.

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