Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Fred Ferber - September 11 & 25, 2001

Telling Children

This advice from your father, do you pass it on to your children?


How much do they know about the Holocaust, what you experienced?

They know. They don't know details. It's extremely hard to express details. You don't infringe pain on anyone, and you also don't want to infringe something the cann...people cannot understand. You're afraid to say something which may seem to them as to the same people remember in New York, I told you they couldn't understand? So you have to... eh, even though my children continue asking me, and, and I tell them every now and then a little story. I, I do tell them a little story every now and then. They know I was in concentration camps, they know where I was, they know some of the pain... But it's very hard to express the total detail, uh. I think they know as much or more than most children of, of survivors know, eh.

But they know how to carry on.

Yes. They, they--I'm very fortunate that they are, they grew, grew up to be eh, wonderful individuals, eh. My, my daughter, my oldest, my Sherry, she's, she's got five children now. She married a fellow by the name of Alan Kaufmann, originally an Israeli whom we have known for eh, most of his life. 'Cause when we came, went to Israel in 1964 my wife had regards for eh, for eh, Alan's father--mother, for Alan's mother. Because Alan's mother and Miriam come from the same home town. So she had regards for uh, for her mother, for a number of people. And Alan at that time was three or four years old, whatever, five. And uh, we met him at that time and then we met, we got fr...we became friendly with the family. And we eh, every time we went to Israel we always spent time together. That's how my daughter Sherry have met Alan ov...over the years. So, anyhow, she's got five wonderful children, she's got three boys, two daughters, eh. My, my son, he's got eh, four children right now. He's got eh, two children from his previous wife, two boys, and a boy and a girl from his eh, current wife. And my youngest one, Anneti, she married eh, Brian Edelman, very wonderful gentleman. And she's got three children at this time. She's got a girl, a boy, two girls and a boy. I have no problem mentioning all the names because I, I...

You have twelve grandchildren.

...remember them very well. I have a total of twelve grandchildren, right. And fortunately eh, all of us, including the previous--Ronny's previous wife eh, we're all very close together eh, very tight, eh. We're all healthy and my family uh, active local affairs, quite active politically, eh. I, I, I believe that they acquired eh, the sense eh, of working with the community, for the community, uh. We're very fortunate. My wife is active as well as, as my family. We have dinners eh, Friday night dinners just about always together eh, with some exceptions, eh. Just about always together, eh. Life is good. We have to--looking forward to eh, to continue the good life.

Okay, I'm going to ask you one more question. After your mother died, which was...

Nineteen ninety...

Was it two years ago?

Two years ago, right. December 1999.

You said to me, I have to do it, I have to tell you the story. What made you decide that you had to do it?

I felt that my mother should have tell the story, should have s...told the story. She didn't. She hesitated, over and over again. She was already willing to do so, and then she'd continually postponed.

I know.

And I would have been happy to uh, to hear some of, of, of her story because it could have been taped. I, I know quite the details, some of her life in, in the camps. But she would have mentioned a great number of stories from her youth, which I know, but I would have liked to have it on a tape. They were such wonderful stories about her growing up eh, about their beliefs at that time, and, eh. I would, I would have been ha--, I would have, it would have been wonderful to have it on tape. So I, I decided that I, I, I'm not as young anymore and eh, I have the, if I have the opportunity to express it, I, I will try to do so. And it took me two years eh, since my mother died, and eh, here I'm expressing eh, some of the wonderful things. That wonderful things are easy to talk about, truly wonderful things are easy to talk about. Eh, people are, are happy to hear and one should always express those beautiful stories. People don't want to hear eh, negativeness eh,, eh.

Well your children will have some of those stories then.

Thank you. I appreciate the fact that you're taking it all and thank you very much, Dr. Bolkosky.

Thank you.

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