Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bella Camhi - November 18, 1999

Pre-War Memories

Uh, did you--when you were in Salonika after the war, did you think about those earlier times?

The what?

About the earlier times? The 1933, 1938, 1940?

I think of 'em now.

But when you moved back to Salonika, you came back there.

Uh, it wasn't easy life when I move in Salonika. I told you that I living with all those hillbillies...


who came took the--your property and they tell you, "You're dead. You don't belong here." So it was no joy. And now when I sit on here--especially now when I am uh, you see, don't look at it now. The kids come here everyday. If they don't uh, come, they call everyday. They're always on my neck, you know. I happen to be lucky. And this is again God doing. Because a lot of mothers are screaming, they don't see their kids. Uh, but I sit down here and I says, ? "Oh dear God, oh my God, I just can't believe it." Now is the joy for me. It's too bad that he died. But he wouldn't be happy if I was gone and he was alive. It was a man he couldn't take care of himself. He was a good provider, a very good provider. And that's what he knew.

Are there, are there times um, now when something--you said when you see an escalator you think of the bridge.

Oh yeah.

Does that happen, do other, do other...

All the time.

things remind you of...

No. This was the worse trauma. I mean...

I mean, chimneys for example, when you see chimneys.

Oh the smell is what let me know we're coming to one. Some restaurants you know, in any area, it smells terrible. And right away I jump you know, soon as I--And people don't like it. I say it's too bad, that's the way, you know. My feeling comes all the way out. No, I, I uh, like I say, God was very good to me, in spite that sometimes I says, please forgive me you know, I was so mad at you. And I was for a reason that nobody knows why those things happen. What did I do? What did I do? I... [interruption in interview]

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