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Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust Interviews

1. Prewar Life in Europe

Childhood memories of Jewish traditions in 1920s Ukraine

Cyla Stundel grew up in an orthodox Jewish family where traditions were special and celebrated

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"You saw the different between a weekday and a holiday. The house used to smell different, look different, dishes, everything different.

And here you got the same thing. That's no difference — Thursday, Friday.

I still keep the tradition that Friday must be everything cleaned and cooked and everything. No, still that doesn't have the same meaning like it used to have in the Old Country.

And then, every holiday was beautiful. When it came a holiday, then it came Simcha Torah, you know.

And my both brothers had birthdays then. My oldest brother was born then and my youngest brother was born then.

And we used to make them birthday parties. And we used to go the shul and make from, like here for to making for Halloween, the yellow pumpkins? We used to make from the pumpkins all faces all carved out.

Interviewer: Really?

Yeah, because there was no electricity [laughs] and to put a candle inside, and go to the shul and dance. It was, you know, such a life will never return back."

Stundel Interview, Tape 1, Side 2
Transcript page 18 (PDF, 450 KB)

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