USF Libraries
USF Digital Collections

Lillian Wajc Stello oral history interview

CLICK HERE FOR SYNCRONIZED AUDIO & FULL-TEXT TRANSCRIPT VIA THE OHPI PLAYER ( Related URL )
MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Lillian Wajc Stello oral history interview
Series Title:
Holocaust survivors oral history project
Uniform Title:
Holocaust & genocide studies oral history projects
Physical Description:
1 sound file (89 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Stello, Lillian Wajc
Klein, Ellen Wilson, 1969-
Florida Holocaust Museum
University of South Florida Libraries -- Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center
University of South Florida -- Library. -- Special & Digital Collections. -- Oral History Program
Publisher:
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Personal narratives -- Poland   ( lcsh )
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Personal narratives   ( lcsh )
Jewish children in the Holocaust -- Poland   ( lcsh )
Holocaust survivors -- Interviews   ( lcsh )
Holocaust survivors -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genocide   ( lcsh )
Crimes against humanity   ( lcsh )
Genre:
Oral history   ( local )
Online audio   ( local )
Oral history.   ( local )
Online audio.   ( local )
interview   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
This is an oral history interview with Holocaust survivor Lillian Stello. Stello was born in Leszno, Poland, and was a small child when the Nazis occupied the city. Her parents were killed early in the occupation, after which she lived in the Warsaw Ghetto with her aunt and cousins. She and her cousins lived in several orphanages in Warsaw and Leszno before moving to Israel when Stello was eleven. In Israel, she lived on a kibbutz until she was sixteen, when she went to nursing school. At age nineteen, Stello met her husband, another survivor who had immigrated to the United States, and came to America with him. Stello describes her experiences during the Holocaust and in Israel, and discusses her life in America.
Venue:
Interview conducted November 17, 2009.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Ellen Wilson Klein.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 021799479
oclc - 587349802
usfldc doi - F60-00018
usfldc handle - f60.18
System ID:
SFS0021985:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
record xmlns http:www.loc.govMARC21slim xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govstandardsmarcxmlschemaMARC21slim.xsd
leader cim 2200517Ia 4500
controlfield tag 001 021799479
005 20120511140556.0
006 m u
m d
007 sz zunnnnnzned
cr nna||||||||
008 100330s2009 flunnnn od t n eng d
datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a F60-00018
0 033
20091117
b 3934
035
(OCoLC)587349802
040
FHM
c FHM
d FHM
043
n-us-fl
e-pl---
090
D804.3
1 100
Stello, Lillian Wajc.
245
Lillian Wajc Stello oral history interview
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Ellen Wilson Klein.
260
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
2009.
300
1 sound file (89 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (24 p.)
490
Holocaust survivors oral history project
5 FTS
518
Interview conducted November 17, 2009.
FTS
520
This is an oral history interview with Holocaust survivor Lillian Stello. Stello was born in Leszno, Poland, and was a small child when the Nazis occupied the city. Her parents were killed early in the occupation, after which she lived in the Warsaw Ghetto with her aunt and cousins. She and her cousins lived in several orphanages in Warsaw and Leszno before moving to Israel when Stello was eleven. In Israel, she lived on a kibbutz until she was sixteen, when she went to nursing school. At age nineteen, Stello met her husband, another survivor who had immigrated to the United States, and came to America with him. Stello describes her experiences during the Holocaust and in Israel, and discusses her life in America.
600
Stello, Lillian Wajc.
650
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
z Poland
v Personal narratives.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
Personal narratives.
Jewish children in the Holocaust
Poland.
Holocaust survivors
Interviews.
Holocaust survivors
Florida.
Genocide.
Crimes against humanity.
7 655
Oral history.
2 local
Online audio.
local
700
Klein, Ellen Wilson,
1969-
710
Florida Holocaust Museum.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center.
University of South Florida.
Library.
Special & Digital Collections.
Oral History Program.
730
Holocaust & genocide studies oral history projects.
830
Holocaust survivors oral history project.
4 856
u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?f60.18
y USF ONLINE ACCESS
FTS
951
10
SFU01:002067195;
FTS


xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 transcript
segment
idx 0
time 00:00:0.0
text Ellen Klein: Today is November 17, 2009. Im here today with Ms. Lillian Wajc Stello. My name is Ellen Wilson Klein. We are in St. Petersburg, Florida, in the United States of America. The language well be having in this interview today will be English, and our videographer is Jane Duncan.
1
00:00:23.4
Tell me first a few things: tell me your name. What was your name at birth?
2
00:00:28.0
Lillian Stello: My name at birth was Sarah Wajc, W-a-j-c.
3
00:00:39.3
EK: Great. And you had your name changed, so tell me what your name is now.
4
00:00:43.2
LS: My name now is Lillian Stello. The reason they changed my name because of the war. They didnt want to, you know, have Sarah, so they changed to Lillian.
5
00:00:58.4
EK: Why didnt they want that?
6
00:00:59.5
LS: Because it would sound Jewish. Its a Bible name, Sarah. Thats why they had to change, you know? And then my fathers name was Lipa (inaudible) Wajc, and my mother was Berkovitz, EvaChava Berkovitz, and they changed to Eva, Eva Wajc, yes.
7
00:01:30.6
EK: And do you know their dates of birth?
8
00:01:32.2
LS: Their birth, no, I dont know, because I was too little. You know, I just remember some things, that my parents both wore fur coat with the muff, and with the hat. I had everything when I had my parents.
9
00:01:52.4
EK: Tell me your date of birth, and then tell me a little bit about your life.
10
00:01:56.8
LS: My father was a very talented man. He knew to draw beautiful. He had the great voice. And he sang for weddings sometimes, but this was not his profession. He just did that for people, you know, and he played soccer too. He was very nice man. My motherhe was a businessman that owned, like, department store, you know?
11
00:02:44.5
EK: And this was in what city?
12
00:02:46.4
LS: In Leszno. This was thirty kilometers from Warsaw. Today they call it Warsaw.
13
00:02:56.1
EK: In Poland, okay?
14
00:02:57.1
LS: In Poland, yes. They had a big business. My father was a businessman, very smart man. My mother was a smart businesswoman. I think that their store came from my mothers side, yes, and she had a lot of sisters that were very close. They do for each other everything, you know? And my mother was a young woman, and she went to buy shoes for her sisters kid, and this way she lost her life because they load them up in the cars, you know, those cars, and they took them to the gas chambers. They just closed this street and everybody had to gomy father tried to pay a German man money, but it was too late.
15
00:03:59.4
EK: And where were you when this happened?
16
00:04:2.5
LS: Excuse me?
17
00:04:3.5
EK: Where were you when this happened?
18
00:04:5.3
LS: I was with her sisters. The sister who she took the kid to go buy the shoes, I was with them.
19
00:04:18.9
EK: And were you an only child?
20
00:04:19.9
LS: Yeah, I was the only one, yes. And up till then I had a good life, up till I had my parents. But later my life changed to terrible, you know, and sometimes they asked me to go to the broken up stores and go look for food. I was very little, but I had blonde hair and blue eyes and the Germans didnt think I was Jewish, you know? But getting back when my mother died, I stayed with her sisters.
21
00:05:3.1
EK: And where was your father? Was he with you?
22
00:05:7.0
LS: My father was in hiding someplace, but I was with her sisters and, you knowI was with the sisters. And then I went to my fathers sisters, you know? I stayed with them.
23
00:05:32.7
EK: What made you have to leave your mothers sisters?
24
00:05:35.5
LS: Because they couldntthey were in the bad area, you know?
25
00:05:44.5
EK: Okay.
26
00:05:45.1
LS: I dont know how Iand this was in the beginning, when they came to Leszno, the Germans. We went up to the attic, and my father and his brother and his brother-in-law, they tried to go away and the Germans were shooting, but my father was a very smart man. He escaped, but the other two died, because we never saw them anymore. I guess they killed them, you know, and we were in the attic.
27
00:06:26.6
So then we went to stay with the Polish lady. We went to the Polish lady, and she had an apartment in the basement. All of a sudden, my father showed up, showed up andbecause the Polish lady went to Leszno and the people said that nowhere is my father. He was hiding then. But we went to Warsaw then. We were in Warsaw, but he was in Leszno, hiding with some Polish people. And then, you know, somebody told my aunts that hes alive, so my aunts went and got me back; they sent me to my mothers sister.
28
00:07:34.6
EK: Okay. So you had been in hiding with them, the Polish lady. Was that with your aunts that were your fathers sisters?
29
00:07:42.9
LS: Yes, yes.
30
00:07:43.3
EK: Okay.
31
00:07:43.8
LS: I was with the Polish lady. We were livingthere was a room in the basement. In the beginning, we were three children and two aunts, five. Five; and the Polish lady and her grown son, so it was seven; and them my father came. It was eight. My father stood in the door because some of the Polish ladies had over there, like, potatoes in the basement, so they keep coolpotatoes and onions, whateverand they used to go to see; if something rot out, they would throw it out. So at night they used to come down to the basement, and my father stood in the door. When he heard somebody come down, he shut the door and told everybody not to talk.
32
00:08:44.7
EK: Okay. Tell me about where you were staying in the basement. Tell me about where you were staying in the basement. What do you remember about that?
33
00:08:52.9
LS: Yes, in the basement. We were in the basement, living thisthe room was in the basement. And before ghetto Warsaw, we prepare. My father dug out in the basement a hole, and all of a sudden they said that women to go to the church and men to go fight ghetto Warsaw.
34
00:09:19.5
EK: Okay.
35
00:09:20.5
LS: So my father went to fight ghetto Warsaw [as a] partisani, and wewhen this broke off, that fight, we wenthe dig up in the floor, and we went down there. We were sitting there, like we were five people over there, in a very little place, and we saw the Germans run through the window in that room, but they didnt see us because we putthere was a bed over there.
36
00:09:59.9
EK: Over the hole?
37
00:10:1.7
LS: Over the hole was a bed, and some stuff laying. But you know, when you dig up in the basement, the thing was just, like, wet, like
38
00:10:16.0
EK: The wood?
39
00:10:16.9
LS: The wood was wet, and there was big spaces where they broke off. And my father dig up, and thanks to themto himwe were alive, because the Germans were running through that room from the street down through the window. And they were screaming Hier raus from here! Get out from here! But we had no place to go, so we stayed over there.
40
00:10:51.0
EK: You must have been so frightened.
41
00:10:52.1
LS: Excuse me?
42
00:10:53.4
EK: You must have been so frightened.
43
00:10:54.7
LS: Yeah. Were not allowed to talk, we couldnt talk. There was no water to drink or nothing to eat, and the Germans were back and forth in that room. You know, they were checking out, and we saw them but they didnt see us. Later we went through the other places where was not a room, where the potatoesit was a box made, like a wooden box, and there were potatoes there, two boxes, and they were like this across. And my auntshe stayed in that box, my aunt; one with her daughter in the other one. They stay in thelay in the box and cover up, I guess, with some blankets. But they put me across the window, you know? Funny thing, if they come in or they hear somebody, you know, is I am there.
44
00:12:2.0
And mythere wereexcuse me. There was another aunt over there with us, and her name was Dorca. Dorca, and she had typhus. So they put her on that side, but she was not hidden or nothing like this. But she was very sick. She was, like, dead. But me, they put across that window in the back, you know?
45
00:12:34.3
EK: And no one saw you?
46
00:12:36.4
LS: What?
47
00:12:37.2
EK: No one saw you?
48
00:12:37.9
LS: No, just one. They catch my cousin one time, went to the other, the other side of the rooms in the basement, and they saw her and they said theyre gonna throw grenades, because they thought they saw some people. So theyre gonna throw grenades, you know. So that time my aunt went out and lookshe looked forshe went to a church, orshe went in the street and the bullets were flying so bad that sheit ripped her coat, the bullet, but it didnt kill her and she came back.
49
00:13:33.4
She met some man, partisani, and this partisani, she did tell him that only was two women and two children. She didnt include me. You know, she didnt include me, but she told me I should go and see there, she wanted me to stay with that lady with the typhus so I could make herthats what she said, so I could make her, give her some food, maybe, or something. But she said there were two women and two children, and can you take us someplace so we survive? And then when the man came in, she told me to go and ask him if he could take me too, you understand me? But after then, she didnt mention my name to the man.
50
00:14:41.2
EK: Was this before or after they sent you into the Warsaw ghetto to stay with your aunt?
51
00:14:47.2
LS: This was before.
52
00:14:49.9
EK: Before, okay.
53
00:14:51.3
LS: Yeah. No, no, no, yeah, before they sent meno, this was after. This was after. You know, because they sent me to the ghetto to my mothers sisters, my aunts and the lady, the Polish lady, where she was hiding, because we were paying her.
54
00:15:18.5
EK: I see.
55
00:15:19.3
LS: Yeah. She sent me with her to go to my mothers sisters, because they didnt want to take care of me, you know? So they send me to the ghetto, and there I lived with my mothers sister who worked for the Germans. She was a seamstress. She was sewing Germans uniforms. So they send me over there.
56
00:15:48.4
When they found my father, when the Polish lady saw that my father was alive, they said to him, We know where your sisters are. So my father arranged for a German man to bring me back to them, and he came back. He paid a German man money and the German man; they were workers going from one site. You know, a group of people, you could see over there.
57
00:16:30.1
EK: Yes.
58
00:16:30.9
LS: In the picture. There was a group of people every day going to work.
59
00:16:35.2
EK: Okay.
60
00:16:36.0
LS: They were all lined up, and I was very little. He paid a German man, my father, money, to bring me back to the other side.
61
00:16:49.9
EK: Okay.
62
00:16:50.8
LS: Where I used to be with them before they sent me to the ghetto.
63
00:16:56.1
EK: Back to the Polish lady.
64
00:16:57.1
LS: Yeah, back to Polish lady.
65
00:16:59.3
EK: What do you remember about being in the ghetto with your aunt?
66
00:17:2.4
LS: Oh, what I remember is we had one room with a little desk, where we could put some stuff in, like some food. There was no table. The room was very small. But my aunt was very good to me. She would go to work to sew the uniforms, and she would sometimes was allowed to take me.
67
00:17:34.7
EK: Okay.
68
00:17:35.5
LS: Other times, I had to stay in the room
69
00:17:39.0
EK: By yourself?
70
00:17:39.7
LS: I wasyeah, by myself. And she told me, If the Germans knock on the door, please lay down. Dont move, make believe that youre dead, that youre dead. And thats what she teach me, you know?  And sometimes she took me to the factory and I would go underthe sewing machine was digged up, and she would hide me over there. The other times they would bring the little kids, like kindergarten, and they would say, Give us Polish books to work on, and when the Germans were doing the inspections, they said to us, Lets change the books. You speak German. You remember that. And they told usand the Germans were asking if we know in German, talking German, you know what I mean?
71
00:18:47.8
EK: I do.
72
00:18:48.4
LS: And thats what it was, but my mothers aunt was very good to me, you know? Like my fathers aunt, like I told you before, you know, they said there were two women and two children they didnt want to take me with them. They were thinking to leave me there with that woman. She was in a coma. She didnt know nothing, you know?
73
00:19:14.8
EK: Uh-huh.
74
00:19:15.8
LS: But the menthe partisani man said to me that he would take me too, you know?
75
00:19:22.8
EK: You asked him?
76
00:19:23.4
LS: Yeah, I asked him, and I was the only one who could walk, because my cousins had bad arthritis and they couldnt walk. I walked, but I have arthritis very bad now from sitting in the basement, because there was glina, you know, something. Not sand, dry, but there was something like, you know
77
00:19:54.2
EK: Like clay?
78
00:19:55.1
LS: Clay, exactly.
79
00:19:56.8
EK: Okay.
80
00:19:57.5
LS: Clay, and the partisani took us to his place, but there were two places over there. And the next place they kill everybody. The Germans found out and they kill everybody. Part of that place, we were two and a half flights under the ground.
81
00:20:18.5
EK: Where was this? This was Warsaw?
82
00:20:20.1
LS: Warsaw, yeah.
83
00:20:21.3
EK: Okay.
84
00:20:21.9
LS: Two and a half flights under the ground we were.
85
00:20:25.5
EK: And this was in a building in Warsaw?
86
00:20:27.6
LS: This was in a garage. Upstairs was a garage.
87
00:20:31.8
EK: Okay.
88
00:20:32.4
LS: To fix the cars.
89
00:20:33.3
EK: Okay.
90
00:20:34.4
LS: They didnt know that we were downstairs. Nobody knew.
91
00:20:37.8
EK: And what did they do? They dug a hole into the ground?
92
00:20:40.7
LS: Yeah.
93
00:20:41.5
EK: Okay.
94
00:20:42.2
LS: Two and a half flights under the ground, yeah. And this was on a river like. There was a river. So you know when springtime the water was coming up and we were sitting in the water. It was terrible. You could come upwe never see daylight for, I think, two and a half years. We didnt know daylight, you know? It was we set over there, and the partisani sometime come up and bring us some food, you know, something to eat.
95
00:21:19.8
EK: Were you in there with your aunts and cousins by yourself?
96
00:21:22.6
LS: Yeah, I was with
97
00:21:23.5
EK: Or were there other people there with you?
98
00:21:25.5
LS: We were just by ourselves.
99
00:21:28.2
EK: Okay.
100
00:21:28.7
LS: Two aunts and three children.
101
00:21:31.1
EK: Okay.
102
00:21:32.0
LS: And he would come out with the rowboat. You know, you couldnt get there any other way but with the rowboat unless you opened the factory floor.
103
00:21:46.4
EK: I see.
104
00:21:47.3
LS: You know? It was a steel floor, you know, in thethey were fixing cars and buses and stuff like that. Yeah.
105
00:21:57.8
EK: So what did youwhat was it like where you were staying there under the garage with the spring of water?
106
00:22:5.1
LS: Yes. We tried to pump it out sometimes. We tried to get it out, but in springtime it was terrible, you know?  And we stayed there till the Americans came, the Russians came out and, you know, let us out. Thats what. But like I say, the worst thing reallyyou know, there was no food, no water to drink. We putted out a rusted out can. Thats all we had to get some water. But in the other place, we did this when we were hiding in the room in the basement. We putted out the rusted out can, but some of my cousins passing by and say theyre gonna throw the grenade, so we had to run away from there.
107
00:23:6.9
EK: In the Polish ladys house?
108
00:23:8.0
LS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yes. So this was very difficult thing. But I remember my mother had a store and she was a good businesswoman, very good, and everybody liked my parents. They were very nice people. They were well to do people.
109
00:23:29.0
EK: Were they religious?
110
00:23:31.7
LS: Oh, yeah. My mother was very religious. Good you asked me that question. She would not open the stove on Saturday, you know? She wouldnt cook, you know. They were very religious, yeah. I have to say that. But, you know, I grew up in a home, in the orphanages. After the war, my aunt send us to orphanages where it was supported by the American Jews, and
111
00:24:10.5
EK: In Poland?
112
00:24:11.3
LS: In Poland. My first orphanage was Swider.
113
00:24:16.3
EK: Okay. Do you know how to spell that?
114
00:24:18.1
LS: Swider, S-w-i-d-e-r, Swider.
115
00:24:31.2
EK: All right.
116
00:24:32.0
LS: My first orphanage. I went over there, and over there one time a lady took a couple kids and she went to Russia. She took the kids and just went away with them.
117
00:24:51.2
EK: They were not hers?
118
00:24:52.2
LS: No. This was orphans. But she took them and went to Russia.
119
00:24:57.5
EK: And you were there after you were liberated, because
120
00:25:0.9
LS: Yes.
121
00:25:1.5
EK: Because your parents didnt come back. Your father from the uprising
122
00:25:4.7
LS: Yes. My father had a pink ribbon. I never could forget that. He said that he will put on me when the war ends, but he never came back. When I was a child, I wouldnt eat my food and leave it for my parents. I was saving it for him. And I was very little then, but I ask every time when my parents gonna come, when theyre gonna come. You know, my mother was very good to me. She always make sure I always had everything, you know?  She worked hard, and my father too. Even those years women didnt work, but my mother did work, you know. And thats whenand then I went to an orphanage, this Swider
123
00:26:28.5
EK: And your aunt sent you there?
124
00:26:30.7
LS: Yeah, my aunt sentshe, and my two cousins, we three was there. And she sent her daughter too, you know, and
125
00:26:47.8
EK: Why did they do that?  Do you know?
126
00:26:49.6
LS: Excuse me?
127
00:26:50.5
EK: Do you know why they felt they had to do that, to send you both to the orphanage?
128
00:26:55.2
LS: Three, three of us.
129
00:26:56.5
EK: Three of you.
130
00:26:57.1
LS: Yeah. She sent three of us because she got an excuse that, you know, its a better life than here in Leszno. It was a lot of anti-Semitic people, and you know we couldnt go to school. It was scary a little, so she sent us over there so we would haveit was much easier for her too, I guess. But my aunt sent her daughter too over there, and we were three, so we stayed that orphanage in Swider. Then we had to transfer
131
00:27:45.8
EK: How old were you? Can I ask that? How old were you at that point, because you were three, right, when the war started?
132
00:27:54.0
LS: Yeah.
133
00:27:54.7
EK: Mm-hm.
134
00:27:55.2
LS: I was two, I think.
135
00:27:58.3
EK: Two when it started for you. Okay.
136
00:28:0.6
LS: And when I went to the orphanage, I was seven.
137
00:28:4.1
EK: Okay.
138
00:28:4.9
LS: I think seven or six. Six, maybe.
139
00:28:9.3
EK: Okay.
140
00:28:10.1
LS: No, seven, seven when I went to the orphanage. You know, and over there, we had counselors. We went to school in that city school, in the city schools, but we came back home to orphanage after school. We had a lady we did homework and she helped us, and everything was with a ring. To go to sleep with a ring, get up with a ring; its like a military thing, you know, everything you have to do there. And we hadwe had a nurse in charge, a lady. We had counselors.
141
00:29:0.1
EK: How did they treat you? Were they kind to you?
142
00:29:2.2
LS: Yes, believe it or not, a lot of them, because I listened and I did whatever they wanted. They were very nice to me, really nice. I think some of them tried to adopt me, but my aunt wouldnt give up; she wouldnt give up because she felt she had somebody who could do the work, you know? Whatever she said, Do the work, take care, do, because her daughters didnt, you know, they were pampered, so their life was different than mine.
143
00:29:49.1
I was the Cinderella, and my aunt told me I had to get up an hour before school to get ready those two to school. I had to wash their clothes. They wore long hair, so I had to get up, braid their hair, get them ready to school, because I was the only one who didnt have the mother. My older cousin had the aunt, because her mother died before the war and the aunt took her in, so it was like her daughter. So both were like daughters, and all the work I had to do to stay in the home.
144
00:30:34.7
Every time, we haddifferent people had to get up forone person had to get up four oclock in the morning to do thesmear the bread, go to the kitchen to prepare for breakfast. Four oclock you had to get up. So my aunt went and she told the teacher that my cousins, theyre weak and they cant do that, but I should do three weeks. I had to do this three weeks. Each kid did it one week.
145
00:31:18.1
EK: I see. In that orphanage? Everyone took turns.
146
00:31:20.9
LS: In the orphanage. But she said that her daughter, she was weak, she couldnt do it.
147
00:31:26.4
EK: And you should do it for her.
148
00:31:27.8
LS: I should do it for her. It was me doing everything. Even after the war when we came to Leszno, I had to go to our well. I was six years old and get, I think, water, you know, get the water, and I had to walk a couple of miles with the pails of water. But my cousins, no, they didnt have to do it.
149
00:31:59.9
EK: Were you older than they were?
150
00:32:1.2
LS: I was older than them. From one I was older four months; from the other one, six months older.
151
00:32:10.3
EK: Okay.
152
00:32:11.1
LS: So she said that Im older and I have to do that, you know?
153
00:32:17.5
EK: I see. It must have been very hard for you.
154
00:32:19.1
LS: Excuse me?
155
00:32:19.9
EK: It must have been very hard for you.
156
00:32:21.4
LS: Yes, it was very hard, and she always said to them they should stay away from the well, not to go up close to the well, my cousin. But it was all right for me to get the drink, you know, from the well, the water. Then I had to put my pail, you know, and then I carried them two pails home with water. Yes.
157
00:32:52.7
EK: And this was to the orphanage?
158
00:32:53.9
LS: Yes.
159
00:32:54.7
EK: Okay.
160
00:32:55.3
LS: This was in the beginning, before the orphanage.
161
00:32:59.0
EK: I see, okay.
162
00:33:0.2
LS: Before the orphanage.
163
00:33:1.3
EK: How long were you in this orphanage? How long were you in this orphanage, do you know?
164
00:33:6.3
LS: In the orphanage, I wasI went to Israel. I think I was eleven or twelve, so I was in the orphanages till then. See, the orphanage, I went from one to another because they closed up a few of them. So I moved from one orphanage to another. From Swider, I went to Otwock.
165
00:33:38.7
EK: How do you spell, do you know?
166
00:33:40.4
LS: O-t-w-oOtwockc-k. Otwock.
167
00:33:55.1
EK: Okay.
168
00:33:55.9
LS: I went to Otwock, and I stayed there for awhile, and they transferred the kids to Srdborwinka.
169
00:34:8.6
EK: Okay. Do you know how to spell that?
170
00:34:10.8
LS: Srdborwinka, S-r-d-b-o-r-w-i-n-k-a.
171
00:34:45.3
EK: Okay, thank you.
172
00:34:46.6
LS: Srdborwinka. From there, from Otwock I went to Srdborwinka, and this was my last orphanage because they tried to ship us to Krakow. Do you know Krakow?
173
00:35:7.3
EK: I do, yes.
174
00:35:8.0
LS: Yeah. They tried to ship us to Krakow, and this was too far for my aunt to come to see us. She would come to see us sometimes every two weeks, sometimes every week.
175
00:35:22.4
EK: Okay.
176
00:35:23.1
LS: She would come to see us, but when I was in Otwock and was a very nice home and, you know, and sometime whenexcuse me for the expression, but there were bathrooms, you know, like, for the children to go, and they werethe bathrooms like we have here. And I looked, and I always worried what Im gonna do when I get older, and I said, I hope I could further to pay for a small place like this was, and I could only put something to sleep and Im gonna be hanging my clothes from the ceiling.
177
00:36:29.4
EK: This is what you pictured for yourself.
178
00:36:32.0
LS: Small, just small like that was. I said that would beI could make it with that, you know? I could make it with that. And in the home, sometimes [in] summer they sent us for a vacation to Ciechocinek, or to theCiechocinekand send us for a vacation, or sometime to the waterwhere the water was. You know, like, beach area. For the summer, theyd send us sometime for a couple of weeks or for a month.
179
00:37:17.2
EK: The other children from the orphanage?
180
00:37:19.5
LS: Yeah, yeah. Each kids went different place.
181
00:37:23.2
EK: I see. With families? Did you stay with families?
182
00:37:25.9
LS: No, we stayed in a home for children.
183
00:37:29.9
EK: Okay.
184
00:37:30.5
LS: And this principal liked me. The head man, he liked me very much and I got sick over there, so I had to be quarantined, I remember. And again, I stayed in that room. They quarantined me, and I stayed in that room and I was thinking how Im gonna make it when I get older, where I am gonna go, you know? And I was thinking, Oh, I wish I had a little place to go to. But you cant worry about it, you know? I worried the man was so nice. The main man in the school and that vacation place, he was very nice.
185
00:38:19.9
And one of my cousins went with me and the other one they sent in a different place, but my aunt always worried about her daughter to have me. She wanted because Id be the Cinderella for her. She always worried that and I should be with her. I was supposed to go with the other girl because of my health, what I needed, but she talked to the counselors and they changed me to go with her daughter. But for my health, I was supposed to go someplace else, but she knew that her daughter cant be alone, you know?
186
00:39:3.9
They kept meI was like a mother at age six years old. I was taking care of two kids, you know? I had to comb them, wash their laundry, dry their hair, wash their hairthey had long hair. I had short, but they had long. Do everything for them, because they were too helpless. I think theyre helpless even now. You know, it showsyou know, the Jewish religion says, when youre seven or seventy, youre basically the same.
187
00:39:43.4
EK: Tell me about that.
188
00:39:45.7
LS: Yeah. You know, youre always the same. You dont change. Your character is built when youre seven years old, and later. And then I went to orphanage. I stayed there, I think, till maybe ten or eleven, eleven years old. And then I went to Israel.
189
00:40:11.7
EK: Tell me about that.
190
00:40:12.7
LS: With my aunt.
191
00:40:13.4
EK: Tell me about that.
192
00:40:14.3
LS: My aunt put us in an orphanage there again. It was a mossad [institute].
193
00:40:23.6
EK: Okay. Where were you in Israel?
194
00:40:25.6
LS: At Neve Hadassah.
195
00:40:28.1
EK: Okay.
196
00:40:29.3
LS: Its close to Netanyah. I stay over there in a school, would work half a day and learn half a day. Yes, and work half a day, learn half a day. Sometime we had to work twelve hours because there wasntwe needed money. The home needed money. So we work in a kibbutz. See, what I was doingmy job was I work in a laundry, hanging and ironing laundry. I work from I guess eight oclock till one oclock, from eight oclock to one oclock. I work in the laundry. Its very hot to stay in Israel in the summertime hanging the laundry, and thats what I did for the kibbutz. I had to go to work to the kibbutz. And later, we came and we study in the afternoon. We came, we wash up and we go to study.
197
00:41:57.7
EK: What did you study?
198
00:41:58.9
LS: We study, like, regular classes. You know, we studied arithmetic, we study Tanakh.
199
00:42:11.1
EK: It was a religious kibbutz?
200
00:42:14.4
LS: No, it was not religious, but that school that is required. We studied Hebrew. You know, believe it or not, I forgot Hebrew. Im fifty years in America. I bet you if I went for a vacation, but Im reading my work that I went to nursing school for babies, and I cant read it and I cant understand it. I forgot it. I learned in America Jewish.
201
00:42:57.3
EK: I see. Tell me about that.
202
00:42:59.8
LS: Yeah. I learnedI got lost in New York in a subway and I didnt know how to come back. And I couldnt speak English, so I asked like it was in New York and the people helped me, and this way I got home. I learned from my husbands family Jewish and from people, my friends were talking. But when I came to America, I spoke only Hebrew.
203
00:43:30.7
EK: And you were a nurse in Israel, yes?
204
00:43:33.6
LS: Yeah, I was a nurse in Israel, a baby nurse, means from maternity up to kindergarten, yes. Sometime in the summertime I had fifty-six babies, all by myself at night. I liked to work at night because I was giving private lessons to a kid during the day.
205
00:43:58.5
So I teach him arithmetic, I teach him, and I did this during the day, and the man was baking, so he gave me bread, he gave me bread and I teachI had two kids. His was a daughter and the other lady was a boy, and I teach them both. I was very good at arithmetic all the time, so I was teaching this, you know, mainly and other thing, and thats what I got pay is bread. So at least I had something to eat. But during the day I went to nursing school and I was making salary, but I had to pay my aunt for room and board, I pay her, and the little was left I had to buy some clothes.
206
00:44:59.2
EK: How old were you then?
207
00:45:0.2
LS: I would say twenty, nineteen. Nineteen.
208
00:45:7.2
EK: Okay. So you worked on the kibbutz all that time until you went to nursing school?
209
00:45:11.5
LS: In the kibbutz, I worked in a home. I worked in a kibbutz. So we were up till thenno, we were in a kibbutzI mean, in a home. I think we came to Israel when we were twelve years old, eleven, twelve years old. Then I went to the kibbutz, to the mossad, and this was the orphanage, and sometime I work in the kibbutz. I walked to the kibbutz to go to work, because we work in a kibbutz, and some of us work in the home, you know? But we all had jobs. So I waswhen I left the home, the orphanage, I think I was sixteen or seventeen.
210
00:46:17.6
EK: Okay.
211
00:46:18.5
LS: Yeah, when I left then and went to nursing school, you know? And I had so many babies when came June, July and August, the most babies. I work in Hadassah Hospital in Ramat Gan.
212
00:46:36.8
EK: Yes.
213
00:46:37.6
LS: Yeah, Beit Hayeladot in Ramat Gan. I work, you know? And then I got paid, but of this, you know, when it was slow, we getthey dont take you permanently. Just, you know, you work a year and then after a year they dont want to give you permanent because they have to pay different, you know?
214
00:47:9.7
EK: I see.
215
00:47:10.2
LS: So they dont want to do that. But then I was there in a home till sixteen. Then I went to the nursing school, a baby nurse back home. I was a baby nurse and from the nursing profession, I lived. Later I came to my aunt, I live with her, and I pay her room and board, you know, for the home, for that apartment. And at nineteen, my cousin, who wasmy cousins were married. They introduced me my husband.
216
00:48:10.0
EK: Okay. Tell me about that.
217
00:48:12.0
LS: They introduced me my husband, and I think in maybe three or four days we were married.
218
00:48:24.4
EK: So he came to Israel for the wedding and thats how you met?
219
00:48:27.9
LS: No. He just came to see his family.
220
00:48:31.4
EK: I see.
221
00:48:32.1
LS: He came to see his family. And they introduced me him, and I married him in no time because there was nothing to lose, you know?
222
00:48:43.5
EK: Yes.
223
00:48:44.1
LS: Yes. My aunt who I lived with, she would take Valiums a lot. You know, Valiums and stuff like this, and she just want to sleep all the time. She eat and go to sleep. And she lived on Valium. You know, a pickle jarlike, you know, that medium one, the glass one; the big one, glass onewould be that she had half of it Valium, you know? Thats why she carried on every time, because I guess she was nervous or whatever, you know, taking that Valium, you know? But she was married once before, before the war, but her husband died during the war and she never remarried.
224
00:49:46.0
EK: And your husband was from the United States?
225
00:49:48.4
LS: My husband was from New York, United States. He came to visit to Israel, Tel Aviv.
226
00:49:56.3
EK: And did I read that he was a Holocaust survivor, also?
227
00:50:0.0
LS: Yes, yes. Yes, but my husband had a business and he passed away withthere was a hold up in our business, you know, and this way he washe passed away.
228
00:50:25.2
EK: Im sorry.
229
00:50:26.2
LS: Yeah.
230
00:50:27.1
EK: Im sorry.
231
00:50:27.8
LS: And he died, and when he died was terrible for me, the worst thing in my lifetime. I didnt want to live with my husband, because I just had two little kids. One was four years old and the other one was four months. So it was such a tragedy, that I couldnt believe that could happen, this. I just couldnt believe that my husband would leave me alone, you know, but it was not his fault. But at that time, I was thinking that he left me alone to struggle, and I had these two kids and myI had a very good friend and she would always come at night and sit with me. She was wonderful. I dont remember her name.
232
00:51:31.9
EK: But she helped you.
233
00:51:32.9
LS: She helped me. She sat and talked with me. I was scared to be in the house, that theyre gonna come up and kill me, you know? But she came up every night, she stayed and she talked to me and we were talking and I told her the last time that Id been moving to Florida, you know, and I said anytime you want to, you will come, but I lost her and I just couldntdont remember her name or nothing, yes.
234
00:52:10.6
And I always told her to come, but when my husband got killed, I was in a terrible situation. Terrible, bad. I was a widow about ten years, and I heard people introduce me [to] their brother, theiranybody, you know? Introduce me, because they want to be nice to me. And, you know, I was a widow ten years almostI think ten years I was a widow, yes. And later on I found another profession, you know, and I become a
235
00:53:5.6
EK: Okay.
236
00:53:6.2
LS: Okay, and I become a dancer.
237
00:53:9.0
EK: To support your family.
238
00:53:10.6
LS: To support my family. My boyfriend, I told him what Iand he said that he thinks is the best. He was very good to me, but I dont know, it justI couldnt decide to get married. I was very scared that Im gonna lose my home. You know, I had my own home already. We just moved into the new house and my husbandwe live over there, I think four months or so, and my husband got killed. So I was afraid to bring a new man inside the home was very difficult, and I decided not to get married.
239
00:54:1.4
But as time passed away, you know, I got very lonely. My life got lonely because the kids went to school. Before the kids was with me, you know, because they was little. But later when they went to school, I was very lonely. And matter of fact, one lady told me, she said to me, How can you be lonely with all the people in the audience? But I was lonely, because the people were there, there were couples and I see a lot of couples, and when I did my show and everything else. So I had to go to my hotel room and I was still alone, you know? So it was a very lonely life, you know?
240
00:54:57.9
And I had friends. Like I said, my friends introduced me to this, to that one, but I was afraid that it maybe dont work out, and to take a chance again, no. And then I met my husband. I got to a point where I needed somebody for my children.
241
00:55:23.1
EK: And were coming to the end of our tape
242
00:55:25.2
LS: What?
243
00:55:26.0
EK: Were coming to the end of our tape.
244
00:55:27.5
LS: Okay.
245
00:55:28.5
EK: Can we stop and then well change tapes and then you can tell me more?
246
00:55:31.9
LS: Okay.
247
00:55:32.7
EK: Okay.
248
00:55:33.0
EK: This is Ellen Klein, and Im here today, tape two, with Mrs. Lillian Stello.
249
00:55:41.6
LS: And getting back to my aunts in Leszno, you know, my cousins and my aunt slept in the middle of the room. They put me in the room, but there was no heat over there, and I had tobut I cover myself, you know, over the head, you know, and I stayed in the room where there was no heat. But my aunts and my cousins, they slept in a room where the room there was a little oven and the room was hot. So I gotI was really like Cinderella, only to go to work. They used me.
250
00:56:27.4
But therefore, I learned to work, and later in life, my aunt said, How can you get married if you work like ten men? One man wouldnt be enough for you, because youre always working. You wont sit down. You know, like, when I cook my dinner, I give everybody to eat, my husband, my children, everybody ate, and by the end I sit down to eat by myself, you know? But I see other people dont do that, you know what I mean? I give my kidsI make sure everybody had enough food, everybody ate okay, and by the end I sit down and ate whatever was left, you know? Thats what I consider a good mother, dont you think so?
251
00:57:26.5
EK: I think so.
252
00:57:27.3
LS: Yeah. But, you know, when I was growing up, my aunt, I never askedI went to refrigerator to get my food. I asked my aunt if I could have some food or if I could have this, you know? Because I had no nerve to ask, I mean, to take anything without asking, you know? And still I was, she wasshe treat me horrible, yeah, and Im surprised, that was my fathers sister, you know? She didnt have good communication with my father, therefore she let it out on me, you know? I mean, because when my father was hidden with her by the Polish lady, theyd always argue. She was a little jealous, because my father had the big business and he was an important man in town. Everybody loved him, you know? So she kind of didnt get along with my father, therefore she gave me a tough life. Sometimes she would call me names, stuff like that. My life was terrible, just terrible.
253
00:58:53.6
EK: You had so much loss as a little child and growing up, and to have lost your parents and then later your husband.
254
00:59:1.7
LS: You know what would givemy aunt teach me. She said every time Id have to take care of my cousins. Therefore, when I grow up, I always took care of the people, and whatever is left, its me.
255
00:59:21.3
EK: I see.
256
00:59:22.4
LS: Its always taking care of others. Right now I have apartments, and I always think about my tenants. You know, bring them food, cake, bread. Anything I could get, Id bring it to them and Id give them. I get from Valentine from my friend. His name is Ralph Carroll, from L.A., and he sends me a biglike you bake a cake, a big thing of chocolate for Valentines Day, like that. And this was ten pounds of chocolate, so I take a big knife and I cut it in pieces and bring to my tenants. Yes, and we have that. But I bake, I dont know, maybe a half a dozen or more cakes a week and I give it to people out.
257
01:00:35.8
EK: You made one for me today, didnt you?
258
01:00:37.9
LS: I hope you like it.
259
01:00:38.9
EK: Of course I will.
260
01:00:39.9
LS: Yeah, I made it special a little, you know?  And so I hope you like it, and I gave, I gave out to my tenants when I come in there. Oh, and you know whom I like? I like Home Depot. Home Depot is a wonderful company, just great. Very helpful, the people are very friendly; they will teach you everything if you want to know. And who is a good company, too? Sun Bank. This is nice people, too. They know you, they knowits personal.
261
01:01:23.4
EK: And youre very involved in your community.
262
01:01:25.7
LS: Yeah, yeah.
263
01:01:26.6
EK: You take care of the community, I see that.
264
01:01:28.5
LS: I bring cake to Sun Bank, I bring cake to Home Depot, and fruit and Christmas gift, you know, and theyre very nice to me. They know when I come to Home Depot I have work and I have to get the parts really quick and go, and they will take care of me right away, you know? Like, I came in with my plumber, and he sees everybody says, Hello, Stellothey call me Stello. Hello, Stello. How are you? And he says, Lillian, youre like Jesus Christ in the Home Depot. Everybody tells you hello, you know what I mean?
265
01:02:17.9
EK: Yeah, its amazing.
266
01:02:18.9
LS: Yeah, yeah.
267
01:02:19.8
EK: Youve had such a difficult life and to have turned out to be such a wonderful person.
268
01:02:25.1
LS: Yeah, my daughter knowsyou know, my daughter, if she dont wantif she says she has to wait in line, she says, Send my mother. Shell get it right away, you know?  I mean, you know, you have to be nice to people. My daughter, she never has time, but she really dontbecause when youre a woman, you go to work, and she brings work home. After hours, she still works at home, but she tells me three hours. She brings suitcases, four or five suitcases home and she sits at night and does them.
269
01:03:9.8
Therefore, I have to play with the little baby when she was little, because my daughter couldnt do it. So I come there, like, five oclock and I leave at ten. My granddaughter, she was so good to me. She take my keys and hide them so I cant leave. And one time she hide the keys and I couldnt leave. I had no keys to go home. We have to wake her up because she went to sleep. She hid my keys. I had no keys. And she look for me.
270
01:03:51.8
When I used to leave, I would sneak out and shed look for me in the closets where I am. She look, she look under the bed because she loved to play with me. We would run around the house. She chase me, I run, she chase me or we go upstairs to the bedroom, her mothers bedroom, and she do cartwheels on the bed, you know? And she do, and I pretend I was scared for her to do the cartwheels. Oh, she wasand you know what?  We dance. She like music, so when she was a little baby, we dance, you know?  She never, she always wanted me there. She was unbelievable.
271
01:04:45.6
But now she grow up, she had a bat mitzvah, and I canI dont havethey have so much homework. She goes to [a private school in St. Petersburg], and a lot of homework. Oh, [her school] gives so much homework, you cant believe it. Yesterday, my daughter saidshe called me late at night. She say, Were still sitting doing the projects.
272
01:05:14.4
EK: So theyre hard workers, just like you.
273
01:05:17.5
LS: Yes. Yeah, both of them. I mean, my granddaughter, if she dont understand something, she will go up to her father or mother, and she studies. The mother ask her questions and she gives answers. They study every night till late at night. Theres no TV. I tell you, [her school] is unbelievable to give all that homework. I never
274
01:05:48.9
EK: One day shes gonna be able to see this.
275
01:05:50.9
LS: Yeah, yeah.
276
01:05:52.3
EK: Along with the rest of the world.
277
01:05:54.4
LS: Yeah.
278
01:05:55.1
EK: What would you like her to know? What would you like her to know about this experience? What would you like to pass to your granddaughter?
279
01:06:1.5
LS: Yes.
280
01:06:2.6
EK: And what would you like anyone whos watching this to know?
281
01:06:5.3
LS: What I would like to knowto let them know that [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, whatever his name, the guy from Iran, hes just a sicko. Hes a very sick man when he says there was not Holocaust.
282
01:06:25.3
EK: Yes.
283
01:06:26.1
LS: There was a Holocaust, and you know what?  I hate to give somebody a wish like that, but I would like him to go through, maybe he could understand that, that miserable man. And I hate for him to see him in the U.N., you know, the way he acts. Im glad the Americans walked out and the otherall those countries walked out when he did his speech, you know?
284
01:07:0.3
EK: Yes.
285
01:07:0.8
LS: We shouldnt listen to his speech. Hes an ignorant man, you know?
286
01:07:6.6
Let me tell you, when I was in the home, we went for a trip to Galil [Galilee], and we wentyou know, years back, they didnt have the buses like today. We went with, like, a vegetable truck; you know, open truck with a blanket over it only. We went to see Galil, and we were at that time twelve years old, I thinkyes, maybe even twelve or fourteen. And four kidswhile we were driving on the highway, there was shouts coming from Syria up on the hill, and four kids got killed, because the bulletsluckily, the driver wentbecause he got injured, glass in his face and everything. He drove in right away. We went to the Ashkelon, I think, police station; you know, we went to a police station and they helped us out and then right away send in the military and that side of what it was. But four kids, could you imagine? They went through the war, but they got killed in Israel.
287
01:08:31.4
EK: Oh.
288
01:08:32.2
LS: Yeah. He could have killed all of us. If the driver got disabled, we all die.
289
01:08:37.7
EK: Right.
290
01:08:38.3
LS: But the driver proceed, no matter how he was injured.
291
01:08:45.6
EK: I know that you told me that you feel very safe living in the United States.
292
01:08:49.7
LS: I think the United States is Gods country. Thats the best country. Very safe. President [George W.] Bush kept me very safe for eight years. He kept me very safe. I bet you he didnt sleep a lot of nights, worrying that whats next, like the 9/11, you know? Innocent people went to work and their life was gone. They never made it. You know, he kept me safe and I want to thank him.
293
01:09:30.0
I did write letters. He invited me for his inauguration, but I couldnt go because I was by myself, you know, and I didnt have somebody to go with me, you know what I mean?  But Ifirst of all, America gave me so much. There is nothing to say. I was a widow. I think America helped me to grow up my children, to put food on the table. They gave meI could kiss the ground here. They gave me so much. They gave me a job and I could send my daughter to a good school, give her food.
294
01:10:19.8
Sometimes I didnt sleep but two, three hours. I had three, four jobs, you know, to go from one to another. But work doesnt make anybody sick. Work is healthy for you. You know, its all right, but at least I could go out and give my kids a life and I could help people. You know, like when I give the people stuff, when I bring them food or stuff, I send to the military gift packages, you know? I love my U.S. military. I love them very much, and I wish they keep safe. When I see things happen, Im very upset, and the reasonthink what happened in Fort Hood, in Texas, was very upsetting to me, you know? A lot of people died with no reason.
295
01:11:21.7
But still, America is the best country. Theres no country like America. I will never go to visit any country, because I could visit America, and others discover the beautiful things what America could give me, do for me. But I have to give something too. I have to give back. You cant be a rake, always raking to you. There is no rake. You know, you have to give, and you always get paid from up there. I tell my friends, because I give you something doesnt mean you have to give me. No, I get paid from up there.
296
01:12:15.7
EK: I dont think anybody could ever accuse you of being a rake.
297
01:12:18.8
LS: Yes. You know, Im not a rake, and I feel guilty. When I take something, I want to give back. You know, I want to give back. I dont know, but I feel if people have less than I, I shouldnt be taking. They tried to give me, but, you know, I should give them something, you know? Like my tenants, sometime, you know, they say they have a birthday or something, you know, and I always try. But I dont wait for a birthday. Every day could be birthday, you know what I mean? I dont wait for it, you know?
298
01:13:4.5
In America, anybody to complain about America, forget it. I dont know how you can. You cannot complain about America. You have your freedom. Sometime I feel we have too much freedom, you know?  And America takes care of their citizens best they can. You know, youre always gonna get have your rights. You always have your rights, you know?  I mean, how can you complain, you know, if you havenow, its hard to get a job, but if you really want it and you apply yourself, you can get a couple of jobs. Its not enough here; you go to the other place and get a job. But you could always work.
299
01:14:3.2
When I was going to nursing school in Jerusalem in Bikur Holim [Hospital], I had my practice over there. Practice after my school was Beit HaChayot in Jerusalem, WIZO [Womens International Zionist Organization]. And I want you to know that sometime when I didnt have money for soap, toothpaste and something to buy a little bit of clothes for myself, I babysit.
300
01:14:45.1
I went outthis man and woman, they had three children that were sick, that had a cold. They were sick and they came into the nursing school. There was a watchman, was a doctor. He went for medical from being to our school for doctor school, and he was watching his work, to watch the nursing school. He sat by the desk and he wasso nobody could come in, and somebody came in, asked for a nurse, this man and woman, and he said, he said, Who can you recommend? And this girl was not there, but she was, you know, a show off girl. So he recommend her, but she was not there, and he asked me if I liked to go to work. I said sure, Id be very happy to go.
301
01:15:47.5
So this man got me and I was babysitting for him, and the next time he came in to look for me and this doctor told him, the medical student told him, Yes, that girl is now back, and he could get her. He said he didnt want her. He wanted me. So I got the job to work for him, and I got few lira to go to buy myself, you know, some clothes and toothpaste and soap. I spend my money, and you know what? I was babysitting all night and from day, their home. To the Bikur Holim I walk, and I work the whole day. I work a whole day. I was not tired. And then I got back to the school, I crashed, I went to sleep. But I worked, the whole night I babysit.
302
01:16:53.4
You know what was babysitting? Babysitting was cooking the food for the children, washing their clothes, taking care of them, reading them books. You was occupied. Not that just babysit and they sleep, because they were sick, their cough. So give them medicine, wash their clothes, do everything. Not like here. You go babysit and youre sitting, you know? No, it was notbut the man every time come in and he said he wants me to babysit his kids. He didnt want to change. See, he knew I was even sewing the clothes for the kids. Yeah, I was sewing their clothes. And thats what I learned to work, and I learned good habits, you know. That the only way youre gonna make it, you have to work. Yes, thats what it is.
303
01:18:4.6
But Im thankful to America. Everything what I have and everything thatthis is only America did it for me. I am grateful to her, because I could work in another place and I would have still nothing. I still willand people will take it away from me. America took nothing. You know, I lost my husband, but its not fault of America. I cant blame America for it, because America gave me the chance to grow up my kids, send them to good schools.
304
01:18:49.2
If you want to work, you could do it. You just have to work and apply yourself and try to do, to think you reallythe best youthis is the best you could do. I sleep when I can sleep; I work when I can work. Its neverbut its a job waiting. Thats the first thing. And when its time left, I take a shower and go to bed. Yeah.
305
01:19:21.5
EK: Thank you. Thank you.
306
01:19:24.1
LS: America, I want to thank you for everything. Youre the best. Youre the best for people who want to work. Youre the best for people who want to accomplish. The people who came to America, its because they werethey had no future in their country. They tried to work, but they couldnt get a job or nothing. But when work is there, you work. You work, and you could accomplish. Everything I have, I thank America.
307
01:20:1.4
EK: Well, thank you. Thank you for sharing today.
308
01:20:4.1
LS: Yes, yes.
309
01:20:5.0
EK: Thank you. Were very grateful.



PAGE 1

COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 201, University of South Florida. All rights, reserved. This oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrighted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.