Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Erna Blitzer Gorman - July 12, 1989

Not Talking About the War Years

Did you talk to anyone, did anyone ask you about the war years? [Nods "no"]No one asked about it, not even your aunt?

Not even my aunt.

Do you think she talked to your father?

No, because, the last five years since I finally came to terms with that, when I did tell her, she was totally amazed. So I imagine not, it was unpleasant, who wants to hear stuff like that? Nobody wants to hear such a harsh cruel... [Long pause]

Did you want to tell her?



Well, first for self-preservation because I was seventeen when I came and I needed to change my life. I felt many guilts, I think, I felt shame as well. That is a terrible thing to say, but, it's almost like you are branded, you're different, you lived a horror, an indescribable horror and you were it. That's one reason. Another reason:I wanted to lead a normal life. When you think about all this, it can only give anger against the world for not doing something. You feel anger against, that's right, the whole world. So, it can make you bitter and I didn't want that. I didn't want it for me, I didn't want it for my family, I didn't want it for my children. I did not want my children to grow up to hate the Poles, even though I do, I cannot ever forgive them, I didn't want my children to grow up and hate Ukrainians as well. Now I want them to make judgments and to feel about the Poles and the Germans and the Ukrainians what they know about me. But when they were growing up I did not want them to become bitter and angry and develop those kind of feelings. So, and I didn't tell them until five years ago, as you know. My children did not know that I have lived all of this. They knew I was a survivor and they knew I was somehow in hiding, but they didn't know 99% of the stuff that I just told you.

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