Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Erna Blitzer Gorman - July 12, 1989

Raids and Being in a Bunker

So there was a fear of raids then of Aktionen?

Oh definitely. Already. Oh definitely by um, I just remember everybody walking around so terribly quiet, everybody sort of, being like a shadow, its just like maybe if your quiet and nobody sees you maybe nobody will know that you're there and that you will stay alive.

Did you ever have occasion to go into the bunker?

Yeah, yeah, um, I did. I remember being wakened up by shots and the panic that my parents, I don't see my mother's face yet, but the panic that I felt then, you know, it was so gripping, and then my mother grabbed me and we went down um, and I don't like to think about that part. It was very dark, it was pitch black, I don't remember any food and I don't remember any, any, any, air for that matter. It felt very oppressive. It felt, and I knew that I had to be quiet, totally quiet.

Could you stand?


You had to lay down?

I was, my mother was, the first time my mothersitting on that first step and I was (pause) I'm gonna talk about it.

Tell me about it.

Well you know, I imagine that people used to, probably worried that this happened several times when I went down there. But I think that there was this fear of being that I was so young that uh, I would cry out or something which was natural you know. Anyway, there was this question with the pillow which um, she put my face into her lap and then the pillow on my back. Anyhow, I was very, it was my nightmare pillow all my life actually.

So in case you cried?

I imagine so, which was justified you know. I don't blame my mother for it although I did question what would happen if I did but um, It's natural. I knew that everybody would die if I, you know your fear sets into you even when you're a child and you just don't cry out you know better than that.

Did you ever ask your mother? Did you ever ask your mother about the pillow?

No because my mother died -- ah.

During the experience you never...


You never asked, but you knew?

Oh, I knew what it was for, at least I had the sense, it was not my favorite pillow. I was to petrified of it so I must have heard people talking or must have heard something because I um, (sigh) it was a very difficult, that cavity, it was like a tomb and in fact it always felt like, when I think about it I just see this utter blackness of dirt around me so its like a tomb.

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