Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust
Trying to stay kosher in the Lodz Ghetto
Rosa Katz was 15-years-old when her family was incarcerated in the ghetto of Lodz, Poland
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"At one time, they sent in some horse meat.
Naturally, most of the Jews were Orthodox, you know. This wasn't kosher.
Mother insisted that father, my brother and I, we should eat it. She wanted us, she prepared it, but she wouldn't touch it. And she was starved, half starved.
She cooked it, and prepared it, she wanted to save her family. She insisted that the children eat it and my dad, but she wouldn't.
Finally, we made her eat, because we were afraid for her. 'f you don't eat, we won't eat,' and this kind of made her eat.
And I remember that was the Rabbi, main Rabbi in the ghetto, called the people together, a lot of people didn't want to touch the meat, and they were starved.
And he told them he had a sermon.
I remember it was in the middle of- in fact like a square, almost with a bank, just like little park. And he asked the people to come there, you know, messages goes from mouth to mouth, you know. Somehow, we learned it so fast, you know, mouth to mouth, you know, information. And whoever could walk, whoever could get out of bed to come there, they did.
And he told them, 'If you want to live to eat kosher again, you better eat that horse meat.' He gave them the blessing.
And I think a lot of people did eat after that."
Katz Interview, Tape 2, Side 2
Transcript page 41 (PDF, 591 KB)