Teofila Silberring

This is me in 1934, the date is written on the back of this photograph . There is also a dedication ?For Stefcia to remember - Toska Nussbaum. Cracow, April 1939.? I don?t remember who Stefcia was.

I went to a state elementary school; that school is still there - on Starowislna Street, on the corner of Miodowa Street, this big, red school. Not to the end; somewhere around the 5th grade Father transferred me. Because at that school we had to go to religious studies classes and Father was afraid that I would have complexes. There were maybe four Jewish girls in my class. There were no barriers between us and the rest of the children. I must admit that I didn't feel any. I had friends. I suspect it depends on the home and on the parents. If the parents at home, in front of the children, don't say, 'He's a Jew' or 'Don't play with her because she's a Jew,' then there isn't any difference. That was how it was with me and Esia - that was her name - Teresia, or something. She had a little dog and I was very friendly there. Her parents liked me a lot and there was absolutely no talk of my being a Jew and her not. And for instance our maid, she went to church on Bozego Ciala Street - there's a beautiful church there - and she always took me. 'Toska, come on, we're going to church.' So I would go. And whenever the priest was sprinkling the congregation with holy water, she would say 'Get down under the pew, or he'll sprinkle you!' I would get down. But I used to tell my parents, and somehow Mom never minded, because my parents had the healthy view that whatever I learned wouldn't harm me.