Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Erna Blitzer Gorman - July 12, 1989

Barn-The Second Year

Let me take you back to the barn again. Into probably the second year. Did they search more than once that you remember?

No, just once. The children were in once and then the search was once and that made it twice.

You were hiding in the hay?


Do you remember what you felt at that point?

You know, um, I remember looking at the hay day in and day out. I remember sitting one night forward come and wait for that bail of hay to open the entrance to the cavity, I used, at that time I did not even go to the crack any longer, I used to just sit and wait for that one bail of hay to move and knew that the farmer was coming, um, I'm going to jump back to the beginning, I know that in the beginning that we my father to keep us safe, or maybe it was through the whole thing, to keep us sane beside cracking lice all day, he would whisper at times stories to us about King Franz Josef, andI think I told you about this once before, it was the Austrian King, I believe, he used to what I would call, embroidet in French which I would call embroidered a story. I used to make flowery stories about this King that he was a wonderful human being. One story was that he would disguise as a peasant and go to the market to look and see, I think I told you this, to look and see how his kingdom was, how his people was treated, whether they had any complaints, and therefore, he was this wonderful man that was looking for us, and I kept on waiting for him to come and find me and take me to his court. My father used to tell us these wonderful stories about this King constantly looking for us from one corner of the world to the other. I think that, thank God for those stories because we probably would have lost our sanity totally. Once he even described what kind of dress I wore when I went to his court. It was blue with white lace and I was very pretty he said and the King was very happy to have found me and I became one of his children, so you see, my sister remembers the stories, too. Except she wore a pink dress.

Did you mother tell you stories too?

You know, I have a lot of feelings about my mother because of the pillow, yet, I know she loved me a great deal and I adored her. I looked and tried to find, to me she was gorgeous, she truly was a beautiful woman, and I think she was, it was not just a child's imagination, because I remember people talking about how lovely she was, maybe she was just gentle and nice and I don't know. But I wish I had, I see her body and I see everything except her face and I think that maybe it was anger.

Do you have a photograph of her?

Yes, I have. My aunt in the United States had a photograph of, two photographs of her, she gave them to me now. That is the only thing that is left.

So they must have been very young photographs?

I would imagine they were in their thirties, those photographs.

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