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avram sadikario

And also since Hashomer Hatzair was a Jewish atheistic organization they were against it. I was religious until I was 13-14. I always went to the temple and tikkun, prayers early in the morning. I was very religious. And all at once I became an atheist. I was very insolent and I said there was no G-d, and such foolish things. I openly said this. My father got mad. I made him mad. I am sorry for this. And when I was a little older I didn't [talk like that with him]. I wasn't opposed to the fact that he was a believer. I didn't have other conversations with my father about ideology. He didn't have an ideology to talk about.

Hakhsharah was for those who were preparing to go to Israel. Before one went to Israel, one prepared oneself for agricultural work in hakhsharah. I didn't go. I was too little. [The participants] were from all over Yugoslavia and it was in different places. Every year there was a camp, moshav, in Slovenia. Slovenia is a very nice country for camping. It was like a summer camp. It lasted a month. Jews from all over Yugoslavia came there. Only from Yugoslavia, not from other countries. Every year we went, without parents, by train. We went for ten years for two or three weeks each time.
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rena michalowska

In Tashkent I was first a pioneer [18] and then I joined the Komsomol [19]. Instead of going to summer camps we were sent to pick grapes one year and cotton the next. It was heavy and unpleasant work. It must have been after the 6th grade; I was 13 or 14. We were treated as working women, so we got 60, not 40, decagrams of bread a day [20]. And the bread was almost white, not like Tashkent bread which was black and sticky and you couldn't cut it. And once a day we got heavy, thick soup in which, unfortunately, sometimes there were pieces of lamb. Over there, lamb was killed only when it was old and fatty and by that time the meat had a very intense, unpleasant smell. But we ate it anyway. Mostly we ate bread and grapes.
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Isroel Lempertas

Our family lived the way all common families lived by the soviet regime- from check to check. We did not have any riches, but our life was pretty decent. My wife worked as a doctor. Children, like others, went to the kindergarten, then to school. Mother helped us the best way she could. In early 1960s she was getting more and more unwell. She took to her bed and in died in 1965. She was buried in the Jewish sector of the cemetery [34], but without any Jewish rites being observed. We went on vacation every year, sometimes with children. Like most people from Vilnius we went to the spas [Recreation ?enters in the the USSR] [35] in Palanga [popular resort in Lithuania on the coast of the Baltic Sea]. We got trade-union travel vouchers and had to pay only 30% of the trip, so we could afford to take a vacation every year. Children went pioneer camps on the territory of Lithuania. In early 1970s I bought a car and we took an interest to travel around Lithuania. We went to Crimea and the Carpathians [Ukraine]. In couple of years I got a land plot for my orchard. At that time there collective horticulture was developed and workers were given land plots of 600m2. The land plot was small and the cottage built could not exceed 30 square meters. We enjoyed taking care of our garden, orchard and flowerbeds. All could fit in our house- we, our children and grandchildren. When the restrictions as for the size of cottages were cancelled, I expanded my cottage. Now we have a pretty decent heated dacha [summer house].
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Renée Molho

Solon, as a young man, was rather athletic. He would go on excursions, climb the mountains, go fishing, etc. He was also a boy scout. This is the reason why, later, we sent all our children to the boy scouts, to summer camps, etc.
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Hana Gasic

My parents took us to the seaside each year and they sent us to the Jewish summer camps as well. When we were older they sent us on excursions. It was on one such excursion that I met my future husband, Miroslav Gasic. The excursion, run by the Ferijalni Savez travel organization, was to a youth campground near Dubrovnik. The next year Miroslav and I met again at a campground near Makarska. After that we lost touch until my brother started university in Belgrade. Since he and Miroslav both studied at the same faculty, I put them in touch and instructed my brother to do what he could to help push things along in our relationship. Rafo proved a good intermediary, and we were married in Sarajevo and honeymooned in Dubrovnik, this time in a hotel, not a campground.
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Leon Glazer

In the summer, in July 1939 I think, I went to Szczyrk on this two-week holiday camp. I don't even know what funds that was paid for out of. School didn't pay for it, because I had already left... In the meantime some commission came [to the factory], and they couldn't find anything, and they recalled me to work from my holiday. Because I was irreplaceable.
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henryk lewandowski

In later years, apart from that, I was in Yaremcha once with Mother, then in Skole [ca. 100 km south of Lwow, today Ukraine], also with her, and finally in 1939, just before the war, at the Betar [22] summer camp in Hrebenow outside Skole [10 km south of Skol]. The camp ended on 25th or maybe 26th August 1939.

The boys and girls at the camp were generally from the Lwow region, there were just the four of us from Zamosc: me, Jurek Goldwag, the other boy [Marek Perczuk], and Romcia [or Romka, diminutive for Romana Inlender] I think, I'm not sure. The camp was organized by Betar, some Jewish university students had stayed there before and left the tents; the boys slept in the tents, they were quite big - I don't remember exactly, but eight beds each I think. There was also a house, a villa, the canteen was there, and also the girls stayed at the building.

We had some organized activities, and the reveille everyday. We used to sing the Hatikvah [23], although nobody knew the song, just a few of us actually sang and the rest just pretended and lip-synched. I didn't know it, either. We also sang Polish songs, we had physical education lessons, lots of outings. I remember we went to see the Hungarian border. There were evening gatherings and campfires, one or another of the campers would recite something. We from Zamosc were the youngest participants. I've never met any of my friends from the camp again, I don't know who's made it through the war.
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Gizela Fudem

And later our parents didn't go anywhere, but we went to camps. It was a camp from the school, Beit Yaakov [7], which I attended with my sister. They were very cheap because they rented some cottages from farmers and we slept on the floor on hay mattresses. And there was a kitchen, kosher, of course. We brought a cook with us, used to go on trips, I even remember there was one trip to Poronin [104km from Tarnow]. I went to such a camp twice, that is the first time they took me out of pity, because I had an older sister, but I was too young for it. I don't remember any special program on Jewish traditions on those camps.

I know that we had a really nice supervisor and all girls were in love with her. They were happy when she even looked at them. She came from Cracow. I almost loved her; her name was Rajza Klingier. The classes in Beit Yaakov cost money, but not a lot. There were only girls there. We were learning how to read and write in Yiddish, there were also classes on Jewish history and something on religion. We used to go there three times a week with Tosia [Polish diminutive of Tauba].
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Otto Suschny

Zum Teil wegen der Arbeitslosigkeit, zum Teil aus politischen Gründen, hat mein Vater in den 1930er-Jahren sein Glück in der Sowjetunion versucht. Er ist für einige Monate nach Moskau gegangen und hat dort gearbeitet. Aber er musste in einer Untermietwohnung wohnen, und er wollte uns doch nachholen. Als er zurückkam, sprach er sehr wenig über seine Erfahrungen in der Sowjetunion. Ich glaube, er war enttäuscht. Ich war damals noch zu jung, um richtig zu fragen. Zu dieser Zeit begeisterte ich mich auch für die kommunistischen Ideale, ging auf Maiaufmärsche und war bei den Pionieren der kommunistischen Jugendorganisation. Ich war in zwei Ferienlagern, eines war in der Tschechoslowakei. Wo das andere war, weiß ich nicht mehr. Die sind dann irgendwann von der Polizei aufgelöst worden. Also wäre mir in der damaligen Zeit, gar nicht die Idee gekommen, dass da irgendetwas in der Sowjetunion nicht zum Besten gewesen wäre.
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Alice Granierer

Wieder in Wien waren wir natürlich Mitglieder beim Sportverein Hakoah [8]. Da gab es jede Woche Samstagabend Tanz, und meine Brüder waren beim Schwimmen und Wasserball aktiv.

Und auf Urlaub fuhr ich mit meinen Schwestern Ruth und Inge und all den anderen immer am Semmering auf die Hakoah-Hütte. Wir hatten ja kein Geld, und das war billig und sehr lustig.
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Heinz Klein

Als ich zwölf oder dreizehn Jahre alt war, bin ich in den jüdischen Jugendbund Tchelet Lavan gegangen, und seitdem habe ich keinen Urlaub mehr mit den Eltern gemacht. Da war die Zeit mit Machane [hebr. Ferienfreizeitcamp] verplant, da war ich mit den Wienern und den Schweizern zusammen.
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Ludwig Grossmann

Mit ihrem zukünftigen Bräutigam war meine Schwester schon befreundet, als sie erst 14 Jahre alt war. Sie waren im Sommer auf der Moschava [hebr: Sommerlager] in der Kindergruppe und als junge Leute waren sie bei der sozialistischen Jugend im Kaltschacher Lager in Kärnten. Meine Schwester ist sogar mit einer Freundin, der Elke Wassermann, per Autostopp nach Italien gefahren.
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Estera Migdalska

Once, and only once, I went to a summer camp organized by my school. In 1939, my parents decided I’d go, perhaps because I had grown up somewhat, or perhaps because you had to be of a certain age, because I don’t remember any smaller kids there. It was during the summer recess, in July. We gathered [in the school building] at Karmelicka. The hygienist examined us for cleanliness, there was some paper to fill.

The camp was near the Medem Sanatorium [22], so it must have been Miedzeszyn [town 20 km south of Warsaw]. We were divided into age groups. I’d swear I was in the youngest group because we wore panties but no bra, and the next group wore bras. A certain story is actually connected to this. I wore no bra, and yet, at the age of nine, I had already developed sizeable breasts. Those older boys in charge of distributing food would every time be just keep gaping at me, until finally one day the teacher took me to the side and asked me to wear an undershirt and shorts. It was only then that I got embarrassed, because I had had no idea that something was wrong.

Everything was so organized. I remember each day of the camp, all identical. I don’t even know whether I could tell Saturday from Sunday, Sunday from another day. Washing. Irrespective of the weather, there were tubs outside, some taps, after which we’d gather for the roll call. We’d sing a song, a very revolutionary one. Then some notices or letters would be read out.

Then the breakfast. The house where we lived had porches, with tables and benches placed alongside them. I don’t think they had to observe kashrut or non-working Saturdays, as no one checked on us at all. It was because of that socialistic, irreligious philosophy, I guess, that they didn’t pay attention to kosher food. There were also duties. Simple tasks that were to prepare us for real life. After dinner we took a rest, everyone had to be quiet. You had money deposited by the teacher, and after dinner you could take some, there was a small store, you could buy something. But they’d also look to see whether each child had money for that chocolate bar. The atmosphere was very good.

What I also remember from that summer camp is that on the day of departure for Warsaw I got a fever, fell sick, had to lie in bed, and I didn’t return home. I was very happy because I didn’t feel like returning at all. I won a few days for recovering, then a few days until someone would turn up who’d take me home. I stayed with the next batch. I think one girl from my batch had paid for two, so she was there with me. I know it was a great time. I wonder now how come it was that neither of my parents came for me. Was the budget so tight they couldn’t afford the train ticket? Or did they simply not care? I don’t remember my parents as not caring [for us]. And here they waited for an opportunity for someone to take me to Warsaw.
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Peter Reisz

Right after the war, my mother worked for the Joint Kitchen on Zichy Street, where the congregation was, and where Joint had a home. We went there every day, because there we could get something to eat. Through Joint I got into a Zionist home belonging to Hashomer Hatzair, where they intensively prepared us to go to Israel.  It was a live-in school, as if we were in a kibbutz.  I went from there to regular school in the mornings. Afternoons and also during the summer and winter breaks, they taught us in the home.  We learned dances, we learned songs, we learned Israel’s history, and Hebrew.  When there was a break, we were prepared for the holidays.  We would talk about what the holidays mean.  And we went to camp every year.  At camp we would go for walks, play, listen to lectures, and learn songs.  My parents were happy that I was at camp because at home we didn’t have enough to eat, and at camp they took good care of me.  But then I stopped going, because I couldn’t stand leaving my parents.
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Isac Tinichigiu

The only vacation I had was in 1938 when I went on a camp for watchmen. [King] Carol II [8] had founded the Watchmen Guard [Strajeria] [9], which taught young boys to be patriots, how to salute the king and how to march. It was held in Barnova, near Iasi.
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