Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Peri Berki - December 9, 1983

Negative Experience and Feelings 2

But your, your feelings are still negative, overall.

Yeah, yeah, unfortunately. I tell you, I remember all this. Even here in this bookkeeper who I became very, very close friends and I talk very openly to her and she talk openly to me. She said, because all the, all the uh, worth, all the, all the richness was in Jewish hands. See this is the, this is their concept.

She admitted that.

She, she admitted it too. That's the, that's the concept, that's the concept, the German concept. And she had read it too, the newspapers, the banks, all industry.

She believed that herself?

She believed it, sure. Sure, she believed that.

But, but yet she felt friendly toward you.

Yes, very, we became very friendly. And that's what she said, she hired me because she knew in the first I was Jewish and she felt guilty.

She felt guilty.

Yeah, that's what she said, although she was maybe not even seventeen years old when the war was... But she knew naturally what happened.

But she lived in Germany during the war.

Oh yeah, yeah.

Um, so you have feelings obviously about the Germans too.

Oh I... You know, I remember we were standing in line in Germany for something, after, we were not, after the war in Germany we were standing, I don't know why, and just, not Jewish people, with people, and I don't remember why and all of a sudden somebody—I told you I didn't look Jewish, this remark over the shoulder, I didn't—somebody said, you see, you see all the Jewish star, they get everything. You have to pay now. See, and she told me.

This was a German.

Here in, in New York.

That happened in New York?

No, this happened in Germany. But now I remember something. My husband went—you asked about my husband—he worked only for one year for my sister, he became sick, he had ??? and he couldn't work, I worked. And this was beautiful period, beautiful period of my life that my husband was sick and didn't work and I worked and studied and he was so helpful, so encouraging that he made my life like I'm being in, in heaven.


Beautiful, yeah beautiful. Because he said that I'm doing so much, and always. And I lived better than a very rich woman because he cleaned, he shopped, he cooked. He did everything, and when I came home he said, you don't even look what is for dinner, you sit down, you did your work already, you sit down. And I tell you, I can't tell you how he...

That's unusual because a man sometimes feels...

And, and he, at home he didn't feel this way. At home I was, you know, just a nobody and he was a landowner. And I was a not wanted wife.

Uh-huh. Because of the mother-in-law.

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