Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ruth Kent - August 7, 1984

Thoughts on Experience

Why do you think you survived the way you did?

Well, I was perhaps young and I was um, healthy and, and the thought of having the life that I had as a child with my family and the thought that I, maybe my brothers would survive gave me the will, really, to survive. It was every day. That's what really kept me alive, the thought of reuniting with them one day. And it was very uh, it was a very positive thought. It was my brothers, my brothers, constantly I would, I would go to sleep with them, I would get up with them and they were always in my thoughts, you know, and that's what really kept me alive. I didn't think my little brother would survive, and I was very fortunate.

Are there things that um, you do routinely now, things you see or hear that remind you of anything in particular that happened during the war and that take you back there?

I can't um, like um, for instance what do you mean?

Oh, if you see someone that uh, looks familiar or if you hear a song or see a movie that you may have seen, when...

Oh, I read everything on the, on the Holocaust. I read every book that um, anybody writes uh, I can't uh, forget what has happened but I still can't live with it every day because I wanted a normal life for my children. So um, there's not a day that goes by that someone or something would not remind me of my family, a song or something that my mother sang, but I really tried to um, sort of push it away in my mind what has happened and I wanted a normal life for my family and for myself. If I had to live with this, I could never keep my head above and ever smile so uh, uh, I sort of don't live with it everyday. That does not mean that I uh, don't remember, I remember every single day something that had happened to me, so many years ago.

Have you told your children this story?

Yes, I, I--my children know the story. And um, my son is very active with the children of the Holocaust survivors. But again, I try to make a normal life for them. I would, I would answer questions but I would never try and tell them my stor...when they were little they didn't really know about it. And as they grew older, they uh, my little one uh, went to Temple Israel and he took this class on the Holocaust. And my son Bernie has, in fact, studied a lot on it.

Before we conclude today, is there anything you'd like to, to add?

Well, I just wanna make sure that this does not happen again. Uh, and uh, and I'm here to uh, for the reason, just, I was the witness to this Holocaust and I wanna make sure that it will never happen again and also that the stories that the Holocaust was just a hoax is just not true. I'm the one that was there. And I'm the one that survived all the hardships and I'm here to tell. That's why I told my story. 'Cause I was the witness to this and when you hear these people denying the Holocaust, it's almost unbelievable. I was there and I'm here to tell it. So, I do hope that this will never repeat itself again for my children's children, for generations to come.

Thank you.

Thank you.

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