Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Erna Blitzer Gorman - April 26, 1984

Life in the Barn III

Uh, where was I? I forgot.

You couldn't get out at night either, not even to...

No, we never uh, we never went out of it. Never. And so we didn't, uh... As I said, we were always covered with lice. And you know um, towards the end I don't think that we even, um... We were just laying there, we didn't even... You know, when you don't exercise your muscles, your um, you just don't function. And uh, I remember I didn't even want to go to the crack anymore, um... But, uh...

Did anyone get sick?

I was sick. That, I just remem... remember my things. I don't really... Maybe, maybe the others, maybe my father... my family was sick. I don't, I don't... But I know I, I was very ill and I, I could see my mother crying and I guess, you know the malnutrition uh, or whatever, you know. But actually I survived. I'm here. Um, what else can I tell you? Um, oh, when it was becoming very unbearable... Oh, you know, after we had those two incidents with pe... with the people coming in and looking over the barn we, we were even quieter then. Even at night we wouldn't whisper because, you know, somebody could stand against a wall and, and listen in. You know, I can't picture in my mind how many, if there were many farms close to one another or if, if there was a, if there was a distance, I don't know that, between the farms or, or how, but I know there were lots of children because I could hear them playing. And my father pass actual... when things got very bad would um, tell us um, stories about Kaiser Franz Josef. And uh, very quietly.

Do you remember any of those stories?

Oh yeah. Oh yeah, you know, he, you know, this, this Kaiser Franz Josef was--the way my father was saying--was really a wonderful person. He used to be very uh, he used to be very um, uh, conscious of people's suffering and, and uh, used to um, he wanted to know whether his court people would tell him the, the proper, the right things. He would disguise himself as a peasant and go to the, to the, to the farm, to the market and listen to the people and watch the people to see if his kingdom was being properly run or whatever. And so naturally I associated those, those um, stories with him looking for us, you know, uh... Of course he never came. Uh, wait a minute.

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