|My life: A memoir by Chana Fischer
I was born in Pinsk,
Poland. My citizenship papers say I was born in
1921, but based on the information on the back of an early photo of me
and the stories my mother told me, I was probably born around Passover
For some political reason, when I was born they couldn't get me a
birth certificate. Later, my grandfather was able to get me one when a
proclamation was issued that everyone born in 1921 should re-register
because a fire had destroyed that year's birth certificates. So,
although I was born in 1922, my grandfather took this opportunity to
register my birth for a year earlier.
I remember a very happy childhood surrounded by relatives and
servants. My mother was always close by.
So was my grandfather. He seemed to be very tall and loving. Every
morning my grandfather went to shul (synagogue). I used to go to a
corner street, with our cat following us, and wait for him to come
back from shul and hold onto his capote (black long coat) as we
walked. He use to take me along to shul sometimes, and I remember
hiding behind him when there were other people around.
We had a cat that I played with that was supposedly born the same day I
We had an orchard and a vegetable garden, and a cow and a horse. There
were a man who did the farming and took care of the animals and a
woman caretaker named Helen, whom I was with a lot.
I used to visit my Aunt Malka and Uncle Moishe (Kolodny), and I'll
never forget her potato latkes, as they were the best I have ever
eaten. My cousins took time to play with me and take me places. I have
no memory at all of my grandmother Sarah. I was probably too young
when she died.
I remember starting kindergarten, and my youngest cousin, Meyer
(Kolodny) let me erase the blackboard in his class. He was a teenager
at the time.
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