Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Erna Blitzer Gorman - April 26, 1984

Returning to France

Do you know where you were now, at this point?

At this point? I think ???

You were still in Ukraine.

I think so. Then Katowice. And from Kat... Well, I don't know what happened ??? Or maybe some of these stories were between that time, the latter. I... There's many, many tim... you know, many sequences of we all being cleaned up and different places that we were in. And um, um, but um, it took, I, it must have taken, I would say a year or a year and a half, the whole... Just knowing when approximately we went into the barn and approximately when we went out, you have to judge that it was. Because by, I think, mid-1945 we were shipped back to France or around there. We went to uh, from Katowice to Czechoslovakia and from Czechoslovakia to Paris. It must have taken time to be repatriated. I don't know if you understand French. But that's basically... There are many other pains, but...

Did you find any family in Katowice?

No. My father had very large family. There were many, many brothers and sisters and, and children, and my, my grandfather. Nobody survived. And my mother's side as well. Besides the two sisters and a brother that were in the house there, there were many other uh, uh, sisters of my, of my mother that uh, none of them survived. We had many miracles I, I... Because we should have been caught, and, and somehow by flukes. Uh, like my... Just my sister was telling me like in the beginning they had shaved my father's head because I think they used to take him to work. I'm jumping back to the beginning, I shouldn't. They, they, they took him back to... they would take... He would walk around... He had to be, had to be shaved every single day. I, I don't remember that, but she, she point it out.

This was in, in Katowice.

That was in Ukraine before.

In Ukraine, okay.

Before the, the beginning.

Okay. She thinks they were taking him to labor gang. Um, at this, this point or during the, the war, do you remember hearing any names like Auschwitz?


Did you, did you then hear about them?

No. I didn't hear about this 'til later years. I didn't even want to listen even if I would have heard, I didn't even want to listen. I was actually like a, a young animal. You know, I was a very small baby when it all started... I mean, baby, four. Now I can say, four, five, I don't know, whatever. You know, at that point you just remember the traumatic things to you and pains. But um, then there was no time to even talk. Who talked? I... You know, like I always knew I shouldn't cry. I always knew that I shouldn't talk, I shouldn't cry. I just knew it instinctively. It's like the animal comes out in you that you have certain instincts.

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