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Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust Interviews

1. Prewar Life in Europe

The anticipation of Jewish holidays and tradition

Cyla Stundel compares traditional Jewish holidays with modern American ones

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"They didn't go in the Old Country to shul, girls, no. Like, we went to Hebrew schools.

My ma was very very religious. My father was more — he used to go to shul every, he used to daven every twice a day.

No, he gave us — we should become what want to be. He didn't insist we must to do this things. Like my brother became bar mitzvah, he didn't insist and that you must go to the shul. "

He said, 'Now you thirteen years old, you have your own mind and think what is good for you.'

No, Ma was…back in the Old Country this wasn't how shouldn't be religious. Everybody was religious.

When that came a holiday that was beautiful, like birthdays or Passover. Every child has from toe to head everything new things. Then we used to play in the [inaudible]. And this was something excited.

Here, that's everything…you have everything, every day you can eat matzah. Everything, you have all the things, that wasn't any excitement, and over there we used to wait for holiday or we used to wait Friday, for Shabbat, you know. To bake challah and bake cakes and all the goodies we used to make for the Shabbas.

Here that's nothing. The children, they don't know about these things because they have it every day, they can. That's not excitement for them."

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

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