Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Erna Blitzer Gorman - April 26, 1984


Now, how do I know it was two and a half years? I'm not positive, but um, my sister... See after my father died, which is five years ago, it's like a dam broke loose. It all came into being, you know, because he just never talked about it and it was like taboo. And um, so then um, she told, she told me it was two and a half years or something like that.


It might have been more, it might have been less.

To the end of the war.

To the end of the... 'Til the, 'til the Russians came. Uh, see we couldn't walk after that, um... So when the farmer let us out, we, we crawled. We could not walk. I, I, I still um, remember, you know, he, he had to carry us down one by one from the ladder. And I still can feel the pain in the bottom of my feet when, when you stand up. It's like thousands of needles in your feet, you know. It's just... First of all, I think we were very swollen, you know. I don't even know what I looked like, none of us know what we looked like. Because I, I cannot... I don't see myself as a child at all. The only picture I have of myself is, is a grownup person with grownup pains, with grownup feelings. I don't see myself as a child. I was... Even then I felt I was different. I, I could, I could suffer, there was no... I could... I was hungry, so I pulled in my stomach tighter. I just knew all that instinctively. So I, you know, you can't picture yourself as a child, as children picture themselves now. It's, it's, it's a different feeling. So, I imagine we were all swollen because I remember my feet being very bad. And we couldn't walk. We, we crawled for... He, the, the... We could hear the war--the, the Russians were, you know--we could hear the, the war. And he just said, that's it. You gotta go. He didn't want to, many a times he wanted us to leave, but... I don't know how my father and mother convinced him to keep us. I, I don't know. My father was not wealthy at that time, so I don't imagine some people maybe gave diamonds or whatever. I, I hardly think... This man was very religious. And I think that's what it was, you, my, my... And he was old. And, and, like, like my sister said this last time, he had one foot in the grave already, you know. So, he was afraid that how will he... Maybe that's what my father held over his head. How would he face God or whatever, because he was a very, very religious man. And I, I think that this is... But anyway, I'm, I'm, I'm getting back to, to different story. Um, where was I? Oh. We... Yeah, we, we couldn't walk. He to... he, he insist... And you know, I still remember, I didn't even turn around to... You know, when you sit in a barn, you sort of wonder, what does it look like outside? What, what is it like? I didn't even turn around. And you know it was at night because, you know, I... There used to be chickens and, and roosters and pigs that used to hear on a daily basis, you know. And everything was still, so I know it was at night. And, and there was snow on the ground. And um, we didn't have any clothing. See the hay kept us warm, so we really didn't need that much in the barn. I don't remember about clothing at all. All I remember is this big blanket in the middle that we used to sit on all the time. Any rate, so um, where was I?

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