Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Barbara Schechter Cohen - May 1, 2002

Identifying as a Survivor

So you started to read and you began to identify yourself as a--was there ever a thought about joining the hidden children's organization?

Well, I did for a very brief time, actually, um. But I felt uncomfortable there because I couldn't remember anything. And I, I needed a place to identify myself, very much so. And that's where C.H.A.I.M came in. And so I left Hidden Children and I joined C.H.A.I.M, which was a non-, more of a non-emotional uh, place for me that I could do something, connect with my history in a different way, through education, fund-raisers, in that way.

When C.H.A.I.M was meeting--did they, did they still have meetings? They had board meetings.

Board meetings.

Not regular meetings anymore.

Regular meetings.

They used to, they used to regularly meet as a group when they first started.

Well that's, it's, it's--we are, once a month.

The group meets.

Yeah, the group meets. I wasn't there from the beginning, but I wasn't uh, an originator.

Yeah, I was there from the beginning.


Charlie uh, called and I would go occasionally to their meetings and then I would give them a class. But they were very much involved in mutual support and talking about their emotions to each other. Do they still do that?

No, they don't do that.

They don't do that anymore.

No, they, they get speakers. They've gotten psychologists in the past.

Show movies, yeah.

Yeah. But they don't talk about their feelings.

Interesting. What would you say if they did?

I would say, because I've only um, I've only gotten to understand my parents--my mother in particular uh, when she became ill. And um, I, I think it's a process that you go through. That you understand things later. And I think that um, um, children of the Holocaust um, they're going--they have, they must have issues just like I do and I think it would be very helpful for them to share that in a group.

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