Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Fred Ferber - September 11 & 25, 2001

Survivor Groups

You would be considered a child survivor.

Well, yes, I, I would say so, because uh, definitely, definitely.

That group is hidden children and child survivors, but you don't come.

I tell you, I started when, when they, when they. When the child survivors first started a group, it was not child survivors but the children of the survivors I think was, okay. That's right. The children of the survivors. And I went to the first, the first few meetings. I did go.

Was it C.H.A.I.M?

It was before C.H.A.I.M. Maybe it started at that time. And uh, I, I remember one day very well because during that meeting that was already twenty, that was probably in the 70s, late 70s. Uh, and I went to one of these meetings, I was as one of the seniors, that they were mostly younger, and; well not much, today I'm much older, but they were younger than I. And they complained about the parents uh, ho...that, they complained that the parents are too strict with them--I'm talking about the child survivors that the parents uh, uh, don't want them to uh, uh, to uh, they want them to study more, they, they don't want them to uh, run around. That, that in a way they kind of have a, a tight, they have a little bit of a more grip of the family uh, not allowing the children uh, what would you say, uh...


...total freedom. That's a good word, you know. Not allowing the children many freedoms which they would like to uh, uh, which they would like to experience. They were not, they were really freedoms which they possibly shouldn't even experience. At that time I remember, after everyone complained how their parents were, also because they have an accent, they were ashamed a little bit of the parents, they couldn't take 'em to school. There was eh, after that talk like that for awhile, everyone's through, I remember I stood up and I said, "Look, Charlie, you're a doctor," the other one was going to school eh, eh, most of them were going to colleges. I said eh, I said, "Look, look, everyone in the world's got something to complain about. What about the poor people who don't have, have no bread or butter?" I said, "nothing to eat." Everybody's something, has got something to complain about their parents. But look at yourself, how fortunate you are. You're dressed up. You've everything in the world going for you. Your parents want you to go to school. That's why they nag, nag you so much. Uh, uh, and you're becoming uh, uh, well to do. Eh, eh, so, I, I expressed it quite well and I think they realized a little bit that all the bitching I use the word at this moment uh, that they really had no right to bitch as much, you know. I've done it over and over again in many different uh, places when I hear that, uh.

The other group is of survivors who were children, not children of survivors, like your wife. But you don't attend those meetings.

Sometimes. I go to all the major ones. I, I go in the country or out of the country.

They meet once a month.

No, to that, to those meetings I don't go. I only went to one. I went to about two of them, yes. Twice, okay. Uh, one was in my home here, and I uh, in our house. Twice I, I was in these meetings. I work with the national and international, I go with my wife. And uh, I'm not part of their--of, of, of the meeting of the ones who are truly the hidden children, they have their own groups. But the open forums I'm quite active and helpful.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn