Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Louis Kaye - May 9, 1983

Monument 1

When, uh... Mr. Kaye is showing me an article about a monument. Uh, where is this monument?

On ??? on ??? I built it in 1969.

You built the monument at the ???

Yeah, my home.

...in 1969.

Yeah, I got pictures here.

I'll look at them later. But you're saying that at the time, when the...

Before I built my monument, I could not talk about the past, nothing. And after I built, built my monument, I feel my b... much better. Because before I built my monument, I used to belong to Beth Shalom Synagogue and I got there fourteen plaques from my family too, over here, a Lincoln. I got plaques for my brothers, my sisters, my uncles and everything. Why I built a monument I tell you, because I figured someday I be not a member or they, they will sell the synagogue or something that I start building my own monument. I was on the only one building a monument in '69 for myself. And some, my friend thought I'm crazy. That time, because the Holocaust, everything start out now forty years later. And, and I got uh, there's a problem here up to '69. It's still now. That's the reason why I built monument. I built a monument for myself, I built a monument for my city and for my family. With pictures. In the monument I got twelve pictures.

Why did you want to build a monument?

Because I figure I won't miss my family.

You're oldest to your family.

No, as I say, I built a monument. One reason, I figure I'm here. If something happened to me here's at least they know I'm here. 'Cause I got, in the monument I got about four or five—uh, what do we have?—four plaques. It gots three stones. I got pictures on this side, picture on this side. Two stones with no names at all. This, but I mean, I figured, uh, nobody left from my family, nobody left from my city. And not everybody like to do what I do. Really, what I did organizations supposed to do that. My... I'm happy what I did. I built it November 2, 1969. It's already thirteen years, fourteen years. And I was surprised they will help Okinawa but not much doing about the Holocaust. It just start up nineteen... forty years later, forty-one years later. And I myself am living day by day. Day by day I'm living like I'm in concentration camp. My... Afterwards, I see my family everyday in my eyes. It's enough.

You see them everyday. You think about them. Do you have nightmares?

Pardon me?

Do you have nightmare also? Nightmares, at night.

Can you do it louder please?

Wife: He's a little hard of hearing. Put your hearing aid on.

Yeah, I'll put it on.

Wife: Why should you make it hard for him?

No, I still, day by day, I'm going to work, I see my brothers, you know. I see my brothers, I see my sisters and my parents like I see you now. This really... So, my friend thought I'm crazy building this why... One of my friends said, "Eh, Lou, what are you doing? They never come back." Then after I built, she say to me, "Lou, I wish I would do the same thing." But I don't do it to impress the people, it just the way I feel.

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