Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Gringlas - January 14 & 22, March 18, 1993

Reasons for Returning

Do you think there were other reasons that you went, besides your children wanting to go? Do you think you had to go back for some reason?

No, I didn't want--I. You know my, my daughter always wanted to go to Poland. Long time, many years ago. Even when she was in Vienna she told me that, she called me and said, "Dad I want to go and see where you came from." But I never want to go back to Poland because I know what went on. Even after the, after the liberation. And some Jewish people went back to Poland, and there was a pogrom in Kielce and, and I think it was Krakow. So, how would you have feeling, people went through hell and losing families and they're trying to go back to a region where they was born and to find, maybe to find somebody or would come some alive, they kill them. What kind of people are those, to do things like that? It's unbelievable. So that's why I never liked--wanted to go back to Poland. But the time when my, my son-in-law arranged a trip to Czechoslovakia, so that made me. I--if I'm going to Czechoslovakia and it's so close to Poland I said I'm going to Poland, and my--and I called my daughter, she was very happy that I, I finally agreed to go to Poland and see what's went on.

Did it feel like something was, the book was closed somehow? That you went back and now it was.

Uh, it was closed? No, it never closed.

I mean was there a feeling you?

The memories are still going on, yeah.

So there was no resolution of...

No, no.

...unfinished business.

No, there's not unfinished business, I went, uh. Still, in background there's what I lost and I'll never be able to get 'em back and--but the, the feelings, it's never going to go out, you know. It's going to always be there with me. Can, things like that doesn't go out of you. It's, stay with you.

Could you sleep when you were in Poland?

No. I was, I was eh, I, I was in Warsaw in hotel, I--before I went to my hometown, that night. I didn't sleep at all. And so I, we didn't sleep, so I said I'm going to do something, reading, or. So I went down in a desk, I wrote how the children are wonderful. How especially my son-in-law. We, the kids were left, the two children were left with the, his mother, with my son-in-law's mother, to stay. He, he wasn't supposed to come with us, but the last minute he arranged that he's going to Poland. So, so how I appreciated that, that take so much interest in that, to go with me and to see what, what happened.

What did your children say it was, when you came back?

They, when we came back it was at, when we--after we finished the trip in Poland I went to Czechoslovakia to meet, meet the family, rest of the family, we went to Czechoslovakia. So, on the, on the bus driving from one place to another one, so they had to like speaking that, with each oth...from the family, from ??? speaking on how they went through about hiding in Czechoslovakia. And then everybody was starting to talk about it. And Marcy started telling about the trip from Poland telling them. She broke down, she just couldn't go--she was crying. She said, just ask my father, he's going to tell you stories.

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