Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sally Horwitz - June 18, 2007

A Child's Perspective

And, and...

What was that like for a 12 year old to be terrified all the time?

You know what, you put yourself in a different world. You walk in a coma. Uh, you still have your mom, you uh, I--you still have your dad when the bombs are falling. Uh, my uncles were still around, one uncle unfortunately, that's a long story. Um, people were beating up, beat up. When you walked in the street, before the, you know, before they pushed us to one side. And a German approached you, I mean, you walked and uh, he, he gave him a smack, "Why didn't you take off your hat when you see a, a Deutscher?" You know, a German soldier you're supposed to take off your hat. And the other guy saw what he did so he figures he'll take off his hat. So he took off his hat, so he got shot ???. You might, you, your friend you have to, that, that, just like that, I mean, you, you stand right there and you see this happening. So you kind of blank out. Because you see all that stuff, people dying around you for this or for that or sickness, or whatever. So you just put yourself in a different, just in a different uh, a mind, set, mindset. You're not there, you're walking the fields with your bubby. Bubby used to like to walk in the fields so I used to go with her and she would just weed into the big corn things, pull out the, the corn flowers which were taller than, than weeds. The weeds were about that high and she taught me how to make a, a, a crown. And she was making a crown, she'd put it on my head. So I just, I remember that stuff. Or she, she'd want to teach me how to whistle. So she pull...pulled out a, a kind of a leaf and put it on her tongue, like her tongue curled, mine didn't. She let out a whistle so all the, the, the birds can fly...


Flew out of there. I mean, she was a funny lady. Um, so, you know, you start thinking about those things. What bubby did or what bubby said, I mean, you're out of it. Or you read a book and you put yourself in the character if it's a, a good story.

Did you ever wonder why they were doing this to you?

Well we were prepared, what they were doing in Germany. And we knew, we weren't ignorant. We didn't have radios, nobody had a radio or telephone ???. So whoever had a radio or some kind, it's very funny, you don't have a telephone and yet you know something, it goes right o...o...over, everybody knows. If you found out from the border there that the Germans saw, you know, what's going on, you found out right away. Somehow there were travelers running away towards Russia or whatever. And uh, you find out, and that's all. My, my bubby she says like the saying goes here, not on my watch. When babies were dying, you know, before the war, you know, sicknesses; they didn't have all the stuff we have now. And uh, my bubby, oh my god she was fierce.

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