Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eva Ackermann - December 6, 1982

Feelings about Experience

The funny thing about uh, you want to know about feelings uh, I felt absolutely destroyed and uh, the funny part was that in a few days, I picked myself up and it was in uh, I was in a much better shape then I am today. I don't know uh, what I would--I, I try to figure it out and I just can't come up with uh, I was destroyed at the time because like I said before, I was very sure that my parents are alive. I really didn't even have any doubts and then I--suddenly I was an orphan within an hour and uh, I managed, I managed so well that uh, how I didn't uh, pull my hair out or tore my clothes off and uh, how--I don't know, but I, I guess that it was just uh, I can't figure it out, I really can't, because I'm taking it much hard...in the, in the years after uh, I started, I took it much harder than I did in that--in those years in between. The realization, I don't know, I couldn't uh, put my finger on exactly when it hit me and when it hit me--something hit me, it stayed with me every day, so when Dr. Krystal writes about feeling guilty about being alive, I don't know if, if you are familiar with him? I wrote him a letter. I never sent it, but I told him in person, I really don't--you know why I don't feel guilty? Because I feel that I'm paying for the way I feel and the loss that I came to realize that I have and uh, every--if I'm--I'm not going to go through that, you know, that every day I feel destroyed, but the many occasions, the, the uh, hundreds of thousands of occasions, the heartache that I have, I feel that, that's why somehow, I, I just don't. Because I feel that that's how I'm paying for it, with the pain that I feel for the loss and the way they were lost. I can't, why, I don't have it that good. Uh, I'm not talking about materials because there is nothing that I made that I can't, that I--first of all my needs are quite simple.

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