Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Cymerath - June 8, 1982

Nightmares and Reminders

Just a couple more things. And one um, does the experience during the war um, ever interfere during the day? Are there times when you see something that reminds you of something in one of the camps or about your family?

Only uh, only uh, German shepherds uh, the family you're always going to miss, see. This is always is in front by any uh, gathering or by any uh, festival like the holidays. The parents are always in my mind, missing. It's a ??? It's too young, you know. If you have the parents 'til about twenty, twenty-two, twenty-three, then you go away and come back, it's different. But if you get separated, which we were very close

[interruption in interview]

So, at simchas and holidays, you...

Most is simchas and holidays and, then, you know, then I miss my family.

Uh, why German shepherds? You didn't mention.

The German shepherds, they were always in the camps, even in, in Monowitz. When the Germans walked they always had the German shepherd. And just happened when you approached, you know, towards them and they always said to the dog, "Juden." Jew. And that dog he let 'em loose, but the dogs were trained just to knock you down. And that scary thing, I--more than a year, I--every night I was dreaming and I was complete wet. Always the German shepherds or...

Were you knocked out?

they'd be attacking.

Did they attack you?

They were knocked out. Yeah. They didn't bite but just jumped on you, knocked you down and just [makes growling noise] and this I always saw, you know, for a year and a half. Most of the night I, I, I had those terrible dreams about the German shepherds. Even today, if I see a German shepherd I don't go in in that, that house 'til they, they, you know, I go and estimate jobs and stuff like that. If I see, I says, you got to put him in a room, you know, I can't, I can't face it, that's all.

Do you still have nightmares?

No. No. But it took a long time.

Did you have nightmares before? About the camp or about what?

About, the most is about the horror. See, everything came up in front of me, uh, the pushing, the kicking, by the trains. That, that, all the painful things, you know, stood up in front of me. And, and you woke up, and I woke up in a, in a sweat, you know, and I told the doctor too. He said, well, this, you can't, it's going to be the time, but, he says, you can't do nothing about it. That's emotional uh, you know. But you lived through and now, you know, it comes. That's what the dreams are.

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