Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ilya Martha Kessler - November 1, 1982

Life in United States

Did you encounter any problems here when you first moved to Michigan? Was there any, any anti--Semitism that you noticed here?

No, no, no. At first I didn't know any ??? and this was... Oh I had right away appendicitis operation here. And I was in the hospital and they paid for me--the Jewish uh, the doctors--and I paid the hospital, my husband, because he was working. And here my room was a, a, was a guy and was talking and I said what kind of language. I mean, so fast talking I didn't know that's English though. I knew the English, I mean, I knew the changed. I said, "What, this a radio goes there or what?" I went and I saw and this was a guy speaking so fast. So, that was very hard for me, you know. So, the language I didn't know, I couldn't talk to the people.

Sure, sure. Uh, do you suffer from any physical illnesses as a result of uh, of your experiences during the war?

Physical not, I have emotionally very, very bad, very.

Do you ever have nightmares?

Oh, lots, how I say ??? I always think they going to crematory. My son married and I dreamed my son is my brother, the youngest brother, because he looks a little bit like. And I run, I run. They taking the kids and my son--my son like my brother was--and I run, I run, and nowhere to go. I didn't know because they taking and they going to kill him. Oh lots of time, lots of time.

Um, do you read many books on the Holocaust, or do you...

First I didn't. Now I start. First I didn't want to. No, I didn't read that much. Now I start see what really happened there, what was there.

Um, how did you reestablish your life and just put that out of your mind to, to start a new family and a new life?

I always feel very, very heavy inside and I never... I am a happy person and I never be happy because if I see a mother with a daughter I am very hurt... If I see a big family, my uncle, my ne... my this, my this... I am very hurt. And the last, I wanted more children and I couldn't have and that's hurt me too. I was too young and they gave this from. And I couldn't have. I... Under five months and then I had the miscarriage three times ??? So, hurt me very badly, so I really... In whole... My whole life that's going to be with me. I never really happy, I never really free, I never... And sometime I have to sleep in their room. I need that.

How did you find your family that was still surviving? How did you find...

Mine uncles?

Everyone who was not, yeah, your uncles and...

My, my uncle uh, came to see me. Came. So, that's, uh...


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