Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Gun - August 27, 1993

Family Life after the War

Can we stop here? Is this a good place to stop? [pause] Tell me before were through um, fir... first your wifes name and how you met your wife? And then tell me about your children a little bit. Wh... how, how and when did you meet?

You want me to tell you?




Is it, does it...

Yeah, were going.

Oh uh, I, I met my wife at a dance in the, in a Jewish community center in Oak Park, and, and uh, 1958, I believe. And uh, we got married in uh, September of 1959. I, uh...

Whats her name?

Her name is Miryam. She was uh, she was born in Germany and was lucky to leave Germany in 1938 just before the Holocaust. They wound up in Colombia, South America. They lived there 18 years and she immigrated to United States with her parents in 1955. And uh, I uh, first child was born in 1961. And that was our daughter Sandra. And my son was born two years later in 1963, his name is Sam.

So hes named after your father?

Hes named after my father and uh, Sandra is named after my mother she, uh...

Uh, tell me how you felt when they were born and you named them after your parents?

I think it was very meaningful to me, naturally, to be able to have children and to name 'em after my parents since they were gone at such a early age. And uh, we had a ver... always, I guess from the kids since they were small I think I was very protective of 'em. And uh, probably this is one of the reasons because of going through what I did and living with fear, and always was worried if they gave a cough or a sneeze, or a--and uh, my wife happens to be a little bit the same way too, also, even though she didnt go through the Holocaust. And, uh...

I mean when your, your daughter is older?

My daughter is older.

Do you remember did, did you think of all your experiences when your daught... when, when she was born, the day she was born? What--did any of that run through your mind? I wish...

I wish that...

That they could have been here, I wish...

Sure, sure. When they were born uh, uh, I sure hoped when my son was born when there was a bris naturally I felt that uh, I wish that my parents could have lived to seen that, I mean, that uh, wouldve been an awful lot of naches for them, and a lot of meaning to them. But uh, I realized thats not, it, it, it cant be and it wont be and thats it. And uh, weve watched over them very carefully right along and uh, I think we uh, gave them all the love we could. And uh, when it came for them to go to school we never, I never insisted anything for them uh, to do, I let 'em do what they wanted to do. Uh, my s... my daughter always wanted to be a teacher so she went to U of M undergrad and finished as a teacher and got her masters degree in teaching. And my son uh, si... from when he was maybe 6 years old he said he wanted to be a doctor. I never encouraged him to it and uh, I remember yet when we used to go to Florida sometimes and we would go, we used to go to that kosher restaurant in Miami, I cant think of its name now, there was an awful lot of old people always standing in line there.


No, no strictly kosher. It was way down on um, I forget the street, I dont think--they finally closed it up. But anyway there used to be a lot of older people standing in line to get in and, and uh, people used to faint and uh, and, and the ambulances used to run up and my son always used to run to see. I says Sammy stay away, I says where are you going? No daddy, he says I have to watch. So from being a small boy on he always wanted to be a doctor and, and he succeeded. And hes uh, just finishing up his last year of being a gastronologist hell be finished this June.

Where is he finishing? At Michigan?

No, hes uh, Botsford.

Botsford. Let, let me ask you one more, one more thing. You said, you said several times that one of the things you learned how to do was to suppress any emotions that you became numb inside...


As a, as a coping mechanism. Um, have you worked through that, I mean, is it, is it still...

No, I think I uh, I, I got quite a bit softer as far as with emotions anyway. Maybe that comes also with age, I dont know. I uh, tears come to my eyes much more quicker today. Uh, quite emotional when uh, you know, when you see anything that had to do with the Holocaust or, when you talk about it and uh, much softer than what I was as a, as a young man.

I mean are you angry, bitter, um, hurt?

Well, su... sure uh, maybe I should of, I dont know if I put on that we went last year. Maybe I should say...

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