Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Biegun - August 10, 1983

Memories of Family

Before we go on with this, this is a new part of your life, I want to ask some things about the, the, the war years and what you remember about them. Um, you, you said before you didn't remember much about your mother, but then you were telling me that you did remember. Tell me about that again.

Yeah, but you see, it's funny, I don't remember her face, not my mother's, not my father's. I remember him going on the big truck. I don't remember his face. I remember my mother, you know, dark hair, you know, but I don't remember...

But this is--when you were young.

This was made from little pictures. This was made from little pictures.

These two.

Yeah, this was made from this picture, and this was made from a tiny little photo, you know.

What do you remember about her?

The only thing I remember--it's very funny because my sister says she can't believe it, how I remember it. When we went, you know, in the--to the massacre, my mother was carrying the baby, the baby brother, on the hand, and she had a big shawl. It was black with flowers, and she was wrapped around in it, and she lost it walking. I mean she--I don't think, I think, I don't know, she wasn't, her mind, you know, numb. She just walked pushing, you know, people are pushing her, so she walked. She lost the shawl. But on the way back, when we went back to the camp because we survived from right to left, we went back to the camp, we find the shawl because her initial was on it, you know, it was BB. This means she got it before she got married or this, her initial was there, and we find--somebody find the shawl and give it to me because we were walking, and I remembered it. I said to my sister, don't you remember, she said she cannot, she can't understand how I remember things like that.

What happened to the shawl?

Oh, we had it, but, I mean, you know, we left it there in the ghetto somewhere. [pause] But little things like that, somehow comes to memory and the faces and stuff like that can't remember.

Do you remember a lot um, from day to day about--things pop into your head, memories about uh, that time?

You mean about the forest or the ghetto?

The forest, the ghetto, anything?

I remember more from the forest than the ghetto because I got older there in the forest.

Do you think it affects your life?

Mm, sometimes, yes, still memories there no matter what, especially in the holidays, the high holidays, you know, my sister--we all, I don't think there is one survivor that's not affected or something. And I think it's hard for the children.

Tell me more why you think that?

Because we have a difference background and a difference attitude toward life and I mean, if they're born here, they're American born. You know, we've traveled so much, survival and everything. So, I think it's a little bit the attitude toward life is difference. And the kids, I think, is a difference, they come from a difference background, and it's hard--I think it's hard for the children.

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