Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Mala Weintraub Dorfman - September 15, 2005


Did any of your children ever uh, ask about where your grandparents...

Oh, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah. We... They know about it. We talk about it all the time. My... Both my grandchildren, Laine and Devon, took my history and uh, they presented it to their class.

At Hillel.

At Hillel, yeah, yeah.

So you... How many children do you have?

I have three children.

Who are... And their names?

Joel, Gail and Caroline. I have seven grandchildren. Noah, Laine, Devon, Logan, Jordan, and Noah. Oh, and back on Samantha. Yeah.

You don't want to leave anybody out.

That is our New Jersey.

Caroline lives in New Jersey.

Caroline lives in New Jersey, yeah.

Um, you told your children about your experiences.

Yes, I did, yes, I did.

Henry too?

Henry did too, yeah. That's why we took 'em to Poland, to show 'em.

But when they were younger did you tell them?

Not when they were really young. But there was, when they could understand already I would start telling 'em, yes. And they knew we're always involved in uh, the community they knew about it, oh they do, yes.

Do you think that your experience during the war affected the way you raised your children?

I don't know. I really don't know. I raised them the way I thought the right thing to do. We both were trying to raise them to be good human beings.

Did you ever throw any food away?

No. This I don't do. Even to this day. I'm very angry with my kids if they throw it away.

So, if Joel didn't finish his dinner, you would...

They... Well, in my house I put it on the table and they took it what they could eat. If they put it on their plate, they had to finish it.

And you think that's from the...

From, because I was, there was...

You were starving.

That's right.

And you told me there was um, a great deal of respect for, in particular, for the father of the family.

Oh yeah, in our house we never picked up a spoon until my father picked it up. We were watching him what he was doing. If he picked up the fork or the knife, we did it too. My kids did it too. But long as... Now I don't know if they do it, but when they're in my house that's the way it was. And I had a, a black woman in my house and she said, "Your dad didn't pick up the spoon." So, they stopped, they waited 'til he would pick up.

So, that was, those were the rules of the house.

That's right, that's right. The respect for the parents was nothing like here. I mean, my father or mother said something, you didn't ask why, you did it.

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