Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Barbara Schechter Cohen - May 1, 2002

Interest in the Holocaust

I know you sat in on the class, what prompted you to do that?

Uh, well, I, I certainly knew that, that I didn't know as, as much. That what I was reading was just the tip of the iceberg. And I really wanted to know historically more about you know, what my parents went through, what the Jewish people went through, some of the philosophical issues, the sequence of events. Uh, I wanted to be, I want to be a um, docent at the Holocaust Museum. Not that I needed your course, but now I feel a lot more confident. At least I have uh, a dozen books to read or two if I have a question I can't answer.

Well, I won't hold it against you. [laughs]


You said you had gone to Europe and you went to Westerbork and, and where else?

Um, well I went to Europe twice. I went to Europe with my parents in the eighties. My dad wanted to go back to Krakow. Um, actually it was at my urging, 'cause I wanted to see where he was born and, and his college and, uh. So we went back there and we went to the apartment that he was born in and we knocked on the door and told them we were American on a short visit, can we come in and, and see the apartment and that woman would...wouldn't let us in, wouldn't let us in.

Really. She was afraid.

She was afraid I think, yeah. But.

What, what was his response to that trip?

Well, first of all he remembered Krakow as being the most beautiful city. And when he came back in the '80s it wasn't the same. It was old and tarnished, he felt, and a lot smaller than, than he remembered it.

So was it--it wasn't a particularly restorative visit.

No. Well, we tried to find this woman that took care of me. After she was very good, good to us in that respect.

The woman who wanted to keep you.

Yeah. But, but we couldn't find her.

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