Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Barbara Schechter Cohen - May 1, 2002

Being Philosophical

Okay, you've gotten more philosophical. What does that mean?

Well, um, I, I, I, I was sort of rebellious. Uh, after being real good for all of these years, I met uh, my husband uh, who my parents disliked very much. He was Jewish, well-educated, but he came from a broken home and um, a lot of the things that they saw about him I really did too, deep down. But it was a rebellious streak in me that uh, I was going to be Sarah Bernhardt and uh, we were going to have a good marriage because through love uh, he, he was going to get better and my parents would see the light. Well, it was uh, a real bad situation because I was in the middle between uh, I went ahead and married my husband and they were at terrible odds with each for many, many years. And I was in the middle. I was busy protecting my husband when they were uh, saying bad things about him. And when he was saying bad things about my parents, that was like, you, you, you just don't go there, you know. And uh, it was--needless to say um, a, a very emotional experience being married to him and having Holocaust parents. Having trouble with my own children. My son in particular, um.

Did he ever listen to their story? Your husband? Was he willing to listen to it?

Yeah, he, he, he did. He did, but he felt that a lot of our fights were, were because of them, which were true. And not until I got older and we, we subsequently divorced after twenty-seven years did I realize that uh, it was very difficult for him uh, as well. Because um, they had a cert...certain image of the type of man that I was supposed to marry and I was their princess-queen and I married him. So unless you're some sort of an angel, n...not too many men would be good enough for me to marry.

So you fell off the pedestal.

I definitely fell off the pedestal. [laughs]

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn