Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Cymerath - June 8, 1982

Thoughts on Survival

Let me ask you just a few more questions.

Yeah.

Why, after all this time--maybe you, you must have thought about it--why do you think that, that you did survive?

Why. First it takes a lot of willpower to live too. This is, this is the major thing. The willpower for survival. If you talk to yourself and you say I got to survive. I'm not going to lay down and, and die, you know. Whatever it's going to happen, I got to fight through. And the end is coming, you know. That's--but it took five years. But most of 'em didn't think that way. Most of 'em says, I can't live under those conditions and go on, you know. It's better to die. One time, and that's it. But not everyday to go through pain.

You thought this way from minute to minute, do you think?

Yeah. All the time, by any--see, at work and, and, and going home, I mean, back to the barracks, my mind was that it's got to end. It can't go on. Somebody in the world, you know, is still wa...going to wake up, you know, because it can't be that one person like Hitler, that one nation's going to destroy, you know, people just like that and nobody is going to mix in. But the minute we saw bombings, the raids, we knew that still the world is--something is going to happen. And that what kept me uh, to be, you know, alive today.

You kept saying it was a miracle that you...

Yeah. Everyday was a miracle, everyday. It was a miracle how, and even today, I don't know how I survived and came out after five years under those conditions. Because I can't tell you on the tape everything, you know. It's impossible otherwise I would, I would have to stay a, maybe a whole year from the beginning. I just picked up, you know, from the beginning 'til now.

Have you ever talked to anybody about it at all?

Not--we talk, but not as, you know, I talk to you now.

Your family, do they know the stories that you...

My kids? Sure.

You've talked to them about it?

They know everything, where I was and what I went through. If, if I can, you know, kids, they got to know. I got three boys, especially, you know. They got to know and they know.


© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn