Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Emerich Grinbaum - October 3, 2000 & January 8, 2001

Thoughts About the Holocaust

Did, did it ever make any sense to you why they were doing this?

No, no sense, you know. That was very much frustrating and we uh, [pause] we were--you, you know what, during the year in the camp, we didn't have time to think about it. I mean--we didn't desire, as I said--told you. We never did dis...discuss much about that. We were everyday pragmatic to have some piece of bread and, and have a better job or something like that. After that, people tried-- although they tried to forget, but for several years every conversation, those survivors, every conversation they started, any conversation ended up with the discussion about the camp and, and Auschwitz. Every--that's, that's for sure. And especially those who, who, who uh, you know, we children somehow we managed to, to, to get through without major trouble. For instance, my step-mother--my father married another. Matter a fact, a relative, a remote relative of, of us, she married another lady. She lost her husband and one child, my age child. And you know, for years--no, she liked to us, but she wa...she watched us and she always reminded her, her, her son and she--there was, there was no day that she wasn't crying. And that was the damage. So there was not a philosophical whether God existed, just you know, the--about the loss. That happened practically--but discussion always from anything you know, always came back to the camp, camp. That came back. Although we--although people tried to, to, to organize a wha...a new life. People came back young--eighteen, twenty, they married young because they had nobody. I remember the, the first year there was oh, everybody married somebody you know, because that was the way, the way they wanted, you know. And they you know, somebody found something uh, furniture or some, you know. But, at, at that first year there, there was, the Russian let us uh, they so-called uh, half-capitalist, they could open a store or something. So the Jews managed to--those who stayed there. But majority who came back from the camp and they saw what happening, the borders to Hungary and to Czechoslovakia were open. The majority--these were the smart people--they left. Those who stayed, including my father, he didn't want to leave. We were begging him, begging him. It still was open, un...until September '45, the, the, the borders were open.

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