Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Mental Reminders of Holocaust

Do you remember images while involved in your daily tasks? Is there something that in particular while you're doing something during the day reminds you of something?

There is not a day, one day doesn't go by that somehow if I do something or I buy something or whatev...whatever, that it won't pop into my mind. Oh, this is how it was at home, this is how it was at home. This is how mother, should rest in peace, used to say it or do it. Or I will come up with a saying what she said. Or my father, what my father said. I cannot say that I live with the past because I, I am already here for so many years. And I brought up children in the States and they were here educated and, and we belong to many organizations and we are with people together. But somehow there is not a day in my life that uh, my background shouldn't be in my mind.

Do you have nightmares?

I just had the other day, I woke up in a cold sweat and I knew that it's a repeat because everything what was going on in that dream was a repeat from what I went through with uh, my parents when they were taken away from me with, with my sisters and what we went through the ghetto. And every concentration camp and running away from the Germans and hearing the bombs from, from Dresden. Everything was just like I would have under the pillow and it would be a recording. So when I woke up in a cold sweat, the first thing I said to my husband that I can't understand that how a dream can look so real and it can be--that everything can so repeat piece by piece after so many years. I will see very often, I will see my parents. I will see eh, something what's in the house or I miss very much, very much I miss my brother what he is still missing. 'Cause I spend with him quite awhile when I was at my grandmother's house in Szadek in the wartime. So I really had a chance to know him. Even if uh, we named already a child in the family after his memory. But I still say to myself that this is not his name, it's the grandfather's name. Now like if he comes back that he shouldn't say, "Oh, you didn't wait? How could you name anybody in the family after me? I'm still alive." That what still lingers in my mind after all those years.

Is there anything else that you'd like to say?

I said so much. [Pause] It was a horrible experience. There were times that they were showing on television combat. I would never watch it because I could see the bombs you know, and I could see what was going on in the war. So whenever even my family was watching it I would find another place not to look at it. But I'm grateful to God that even I went through many, so many sicknesses and I'm still under doctor's care. I have to see him every six months. But I hope and pray that we will live long enough to have enough happiness. And all what happened that it will never repeat, and it will never happen. And from now on we will live in a free world and it shouldn't take too long, that Israel should be free. I don't mean free. That, I mean in a way that uh, should be freedom, shalom all the way. Should be peace with, between other countries. Because many times we are talking to each other, we are saying, maybe we made a mistake that we didn't go, after the war we didn't go to Israel. But that time after struggling so much and after all what we went through and Israel was that time still a struggling place. So. But we were there already a few times, even our son there. And we still hope to go and to see Israel to meet with our friends and be with our--And should be peace.

I think this would be a good place to end it. I thank you Nancy for all your time.

You're welcome. I took up a lot of time.

No, no.


© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn