Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Erna Blitzer Gorman - April 26, 1984

DP Camps

Oh, after that we came to a certain city and um, there was an organization that uh, at first we were in some sort of an apartment. Oh, what I call apartment, you know, we had a room. And uh, I think my father was looking for people that would help us get back or something. Then we went through a sequence of uh, of like detention camps or, I remember where they were cleaning us up and...

Displaced persons?

The first place?

Displaced persons?

I don't know...


...but I imagine that's what it was. Uh, they were um, they, you know, the way they, they shave your hair and the way they make you stand naked, they, where they so degrading everything, you know. Even, you know, it was, people they were trying to help. Um, they were cleaning us. Several times I remember going to some sort of a steam bath. Or of the other people we had to scrub ourselves, including my sister. There I re... there I remember my sister very well. And I, I, I, I didn't understand when we were being examined what, the language they were speaking, the man. But um, I remember the feeling of hating it. You know, there's such a, you know even pe... you know, even when people do things for you, sometimes they don't know how to do things. They take your dignity away. It... I... At least I felt very... I wouldn't take their clothing. It was not given in the same manner as the Russians did. I don't know why. But anyhow, that's the way I felt.

These were Americans?

I don't know. I did not... I didn't know who. I didn't understand the language. But you see I, I learned Polish, Russian and Ukraine, so... I wish I knew the periods of times it took to be in all these different pa... places.

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