Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eva Ackermann - December 6, 1982

Feeling Guilt

I was downtown to take a picture for the citizenship. That was five years, when we were five years here in this country and was downtown and there was a restaurant across the street from uh, wherever the building, I can't recall where you uh, take out your papers and an old man was standing in the door and in the window they had food and he was standing there and he looked so longingly at that food and to this day, I, I uh, make myself uh, I--every, every now and then, I will remember and I feel guilty about not handing him a dollar, because I somehow thought that my father, I don't know why I associated him with my father. He was hungry and uh, it's not that I can go out and feed everybody who is hungry, but somehow, he, he uh, I remembered that my father would be somewhere and uh, I don't know. It's, it's, these are the kind of uh, these are the kind of the feelings that I have that are not--I don't think that they're perfectly normal if you are being uh, if you haven't been touched by uh, tragedy, that you should feel or if I wouldn't have gone through what I would have gone through, I probably wouldn't be uh, not that I would be, I would never be a callous person, because I always had feelings, but I just had normal uh, normal resistance which you should have. See, Agi sometimes will say, "I, I just don't want to give up on you." Sometimes she gives up on me, because I like to uh, I am a social person, but then again, I like to uh, just sit back and uh, uh, maybe, I enjoy the misery that I feel. I don't know or, or maybe I justify my being here, being miserable a whole lot of times. Can you stop for a minute? What would you like to know?

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