Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eva Ackermann - December 6, 1982

Reasons for Survival

In fact, when my kids were on paper route, if I heard a siren, I assure you, I got into my car and I used to comb the neighborhood because I was so sure something happened to mine and that rubbed off on the kids. Because I remember one of them said once, "Ma," Kenny, my younger one, he says, "Mom, you are going down and you are taking me with you." And, this went on, so this is why I'm saying, I don't feel guilty, because I am here. I didn't ask, I didn't even fight for it. I didn't fight when I walked out and I didn't fight in the concentration camp. I never took anybody's--I just, I, it just happened and you know, whenever I think that why I am left here, I'm left-- whenever hurts me, something happens that it hurts me, I always say, this is why I'm left, this is why I'm hurting. This is coming to me. This is why--not completely, because I feel that I have--I hope I made my husband happy and I have two very handsome and very nice kids. So maybe that's another reason, but the pain that I feel for things that are, that other people would just let go, that's the way I think I'm paying for being here. But sometimes I feel that I paid enough but uh, you know how I feel? I feel uh, what--a very low threshold of being able to take anything. But I'm not talking about just my uh, something that would happen in my little circle. Anything. Uh, last night I got very upset watching 20/20. It was--that was part of the uh, when I saw that man sitting there condemning Israel uh, I take it so much to heart that I'm, I'm sure that uh, uh, I mean, someone said to me once uh, "Why uh, why feel this way? There is nothing you can do about it." But I, I--maybe, that's it, maybe that I feel so helpless that I can't do, but my resistance is terribly low, like someone, I'm not--my resistance is not low too, because I very seldom get sick--as being sick, but to emotional uh, things, I cannot take. If the phone rings uh, if he got a job, the phone rings, I feel he's going to call. He doesn't have the job anymore and whatever hurts my kids or uh, it's hurting me which is probably a mother's nature, but not that much. This is just a little bit uh, and like I said, I have a mental picture in front of me.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn