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Jankiel Kulawiec

My daughter went to a secular Jewish school, first to a vocational hairdressing school and then to a high school.
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Rafael Genis

I was discharged in early January 1944 with the so-called 'white card': I could not be in the lines any more. I had to get recouped somehow. I had to find a lodging and a job. I was recommended to be a military trainer at the vocational school. I went to Lipetsk [today Russia], an industrial town, where there were a lot of schools. I was hired by one of the vocational schools right away. I rented a room. I worked hard. All I had to wear was a military uniform. Lithuania was still occupied, and I didn't care where I should live. I did well at work. I had military awards: two Great Patriotic War Orders [11] and others. Later I was offered to run the local timber enterprise.
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At times I helped my master with anti-religious propaganda. I think he was an underground Communist or a Communists sympathizer. At times he gave me flyers to disseminate. There were times when we tied red fabric to stones and flung them at electric wires, there was a blackout and the fabric was torn into pieces. The next morning the whole town was strewn with small red flags. I did it unquestioningly just satisfying my master's request and fortunately I wasn't caught, otherwise I would have been arrested like many other underground Communists.
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I worked with Shilenis for three years. I became a good locksmith and I was also particularly good with engines. There were cases when customers didn't go to Shilenis, but directly to me. The master bore no grudge and valued me as a worker. Along with him we got a task to fix a dynamo machine which was used at the power station and we coped with that. I made money and felt confident. There were both Jews and Lithuanians in my company. We went to the park, to each other's place, to the cinema - a small wooden building, to the dancing party which we were looking forward to every Sunday. There was a football field on the square and we often played football.
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Father arranged my apprenticeship with him. They made an agreement that I would work for him for free for one year, whether I learn something or not. I turned out to be very skillful and in a month I was able to do rather complex locksmith jobs. In three months I told Shilenis that I would not work for free any more. Then he gave me 60 litas. When I took money home and gave it to my mom, first she cried out that I stole it. Then I took her to Shilenis and had him confirm that he gave that money to me. She was very happy and kissed me. Since that time I received 60 litas per month and gave it all to my mom.
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By that time my elder brothers were working, having finished Jewish school. First, they helped Father and then they started learning some craft. Only the eldest, Dovid, wasn't working. He was eager to become a rabbi and went to a yeshivah in Telsiai.
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Krystyna Budnicka

As far as I remember, Rafal graduated from a technical school - either Wawelberg's or Konarski's.
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Janina Duda

tili solomon

She finished the first four elementary grades in a Romanian school: the Marzescu school. Then she went for two years to the Commerce High School, until the war began and we were kicked out from the public schools. She didn't continue her education.
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I studied Hebrew at the ORT school. In that period my father was no longer with us, having been sent to forced labor, and my mother was sick. Taking care of two children on her own wasn't easy; she didn't supervise me enough, so I got a failing final grade in Hebrew. I was supposed to get a prize for handiwork: they gave separate prizes for each subject. Because of my failing grade in Hebrew, when they called out the prizes, they said, 'Herscu Tili, prize for handiwork', but, in fact, they didn't give me anything: neither the diploma, nor that little piece of fabric which was given to us in recognition of our merit. I cried all the way from school to our house. My eyes were swollen. 'What happened?' they asked me at home. 'My friend Molca got a prize for handiwork and I didn't!' My problem wasn't that I hadn't got the prize, but that she had gotten it and I hadn't. I had to take private lessons. There was this young lady who taught Hebrew, a very nice young woman who did pro bono work for our school. I think she emigrated to Israel right after the war. She worked without compensation to help the Jewish community. My mother went to see her with tears in her eyes; she told her about my situation and that I wanted to continue my education. The lady recommended to us a girl who was two or three years older than me and I took some lessons with her that summer. I was able to pass my exam and enter the next grade. However, the fact that I didn't get that prize is something I'll always remember.
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I started the fifth grade at the ORT [9] school on Sfantul Lazar Street. Half of the day was for learning a trade and the other half was theory. All the teachers were Jewish. There I learnt a little Hebrew and a little Yiddish, both speaking and writing, but it didn't really stick with me.

Yiddish and Hebrew were taught in those schools regularly. The ORT school had a tailoring and an underwear workshop. I was with the latter. I wasn't an outstanding student and couldn't say whether there were teachers that I preferred and teachers that I disliked.
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jerzy pikielny

Amalia Laufer

bella zeldovich

My mother's brother Israel was born in 1888. Like his older brother he finished the commercial college in Nikolaev.
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