Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Larry Brenner - December 13, 1981

Effects of Experience

Now when you came to the United States, did you um, did you talk about your experiences with anybody in the United States? I mean with co-workers, neighbors, people you met there?

Not uh, in details, not in details. I don't think they asked me in details and I don't think I was willing to tell them either. I didn't, I didn't want to feel pitied.

Yeah, that's the next question, why. Um, now a couple more about, about when you came here because... Do you, do you remember any, any physical illness as a result of the camp?

No, no.

No, uh...

Oh yeah, wait a second, when I came home right after war, the physical illness was a, a vitamin deficiency on me. I had boils all over my legs.

And typhus, of course.

Well, typhus was there.


But, but right after, when I came home to Hungary, I... The typhus was something else. The typhus, I had it in Austria, you know after liberation. When I came home, I had boils all over my legs, which was infected and the, the diagnosis was a vitamin deficiency, which they gave me, I think, heavy dose of vitamins and they went away. But no physical illness left on me, visible. Mental perhaps, yes.

That's what I... Do you...


Does it interfere? Does what happened then interfere, or did it interfere with, with your life?

I, I wouldn't know because I, I don't know if the nervousness comes. I have um, probably I'm a hyper person, I don't know if that's from there or it has nothing to do it. But I know I have nightmares, even today. Not as much but I used to get up and sweat at nights many times uh, which they want to kill my parents and I try to save them and, and many bad dreams. Nazis are after me. They're chasing me and I'm constantly running. Many time they shot me and I'm dead. And then I wake up with yelling and breathing. My wife used to wake me up because uh, I, I tried to yell out and I can't. But this was quite often.

Does, does any memory ever flash into your head while, during the day uh, in particular situations that remind you?

No, many times though, many times I, I, when especially when this war is going on over in, in Israel and in other places, in Cambodia and Vietnam uh, I do, my mind goes back to those place uh, and, and try to leave, to sympathize with the Vietnamese or with the Cambodian people or even with the Israelis what goes on. And also, and also it's imagination goes in my mind if God forbid again similar things happened. What would I do with my family? How would I experience ??? or would I save them, what steps I would take. Stupid things, but it does go through your head.

How do you feel about talking about it now?

At ease.

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