"Did your family practice Judaism when you were growing up?
Bernard: Yes. They were, well not hundred percent Orthodox, but you can say ninety-eight percent, and we never missed any of the special Jewish days, religious days, and never missed going to synagogue every Saturday, and never done anything that should, you should not do on a Saturday such as lighting fires or going out with a car or you know, anything in that line. They kept strictly to it I mean, my father would never go out dealing or anything, he might make some enquiries locally at a butcher, that used to take some of the piece that we had, but never done any dealing as such, or anything to do with the business. That was left for the rest of the week, and I mean I can remember even as a very small boy, Yom Kippur was something that you had to suffer as you might say, at the time, I mean you were at the synagogue all day, you were allowed perhaps to go outside, but nothing else, never got anything to eat..”
Interview with Bernard Grunberg in 2015
Bernard's family were Jewish and went to the synagogue on a Saturday and on special Jewish days. What is a synagogue? 
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 A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer.
What does the word Orthodox mean?
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 It means following the rules and beliefs of a religion.
What did Bernard's family do on a Saturday and why?
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Bernard is remembering Shabbat which is the Jewish day of rest. This means Jewish people do not work of any kind. Bernard's father was a cattle dealer and would not work. Jewish people observe Shabbat from sunset on Friday until three stars are in the sky on Saturday night.
Which festivals can Bernard remember observing and what can he remember about it?
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 Bernard can remember Yom Kippur which is the Day of Atonement in the Jewish calendar. On this day Jewish people attend the synagogue, pray and fast. Jewish people reflect on the year and will ask for forgiveness.

This is a picture of the synagogue in Lingen that Bernard's family attended on a Saturday and on holy days.

Erbaut is the German word for built. When was the synagogue built?
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Find the word zerstort. What does word mean in English? Why would this happen in 1938?
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 Zerstort means destroyed. In November 1938 there was an event called the November Pogrom (Kristallnacht). From the 9th to the 10th of November Jewish shops, businesses and synagogues were attacked. This included Bernard's synagogue in Lingen.

Did your experience during the Holocaust change your opinion of your religion?

It changed my religion very much because after I came to England, I was totally on my own. I had got no relatives, nothing. Nobody that I knew, I was a total stranger, and religion did not part-- partake any part of my life after that. Because I have always turned around and said “religion would not feed me, I had to work to live”

Bernard being interviewed in 2015

This is a very personal response to faith and the Holocaust. Each survivor has a different response.

Why would Bernard feel this way? What did Bernard lose as a result of the Holocaust?

© The National Holocaust Centre and Museum