Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Barbara Schechter Cohen - May 1, 2002

Having Nightmares

Um, but you--not knowing is the norm, by the way. I mean um, it's odd. A lot of children survivors don't want to know. They've had enough, they don't want to know anything at all. Um, not everybody but a lot. What... Do you still have nightmares?

No, I don't.

When your children were younger did you?


Holocaust nightmares about them?

Um, I know I had nightmares about the war, but I don't know if it involved them in particular.

Why do you suppose that trains, you're affected by trains it sounds.


Why do you suppose that is?

Well um, that whistle, you know. Uh, um. Something frightening must have happened um, there. I don't know.

When you were small, as a child.

Yeah. Maybe it was the Germans and their dogs or their uh, guns or the fear of my parents in trains. But I actually get a physical thing about it.

Did you see Shoah?

Mm-hm. Trains.

The trains were all over the place.

Gives me chills with those trains.

Have you ever, do you take a train in the United States?


And does it make you uncomfortable?

I think I'm, I'm able to uh, put things in compartments. I've gotten, gotten real good at that. Very good at that.

Um, you said you wanted to be a docent and that you were interested in higher educational projects. Tell me more about your feelings about that.

Um. Well I feel that on a personal level, it's my connection with my parents, because um, I don't have a memory. And um, it gives me a connection to what they went through. And also um, I feel I'm doing something useful by um, educating myself and try...and helping with the education of young people and whoever goes through the uh, museum. And my own children you know, having knowledge that I can speak to them intelligently.

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