Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Klaiman - May 4, 1982

Sharing Experiences

Do you, do you talk about your experience? Have you talked about it with you children?

Never. I, I got a daughter just--she is thirty-two years old now and I think about six months, a year ago she asked me about it. My two sons never want to know about it. Not they don't want to know about it, because they af...because they, they afraid they going to hurt me when I going to talk about.

So you've spoken about it with your daughter.

My daughter, yes. She, she--now she wants to know everything what's going on. I talked to her, my wife talked to her. My two sons, I asked. My little son, I said, "If you want to know...' He said, "No.'


My little son same thing. He knows about it some of it true. But they don't want to know exactly what. What can I say? Was a bad, was bad. Was very not--it was a hard time this to went through life. I can tell you a story about in the Łódź ghetto that when I was a little boy I went to a--in a hospital and I saw a German took a knife in a hospital in a--on fourth floor, he took that child about two to three years old and took a knife and cut it and throw it through a window. And people cannot forget this kind of thing in life, what people could do to other people. It's very hard for me to talk about these sadistic things in life. Yeah. It was a bad, it was a bad dream, the whole thing in life. It was very, very bad.

Do you find it helps you talk about it with your wife?

We don't talk about it.


We don't too much about it. We can talk something about the family something, about my father-in-law, my mother-in-law, her brothers and her family. We don't want to talk...


...about this kind of thing what we went through in life. She went through the same thing what I went through. And we don't want to remind ourselves the--this kind of bad things in our life.

Do you find it's easier to talk to a stranger than to talk to your children and to talk to...

I think I would be easier to talk to my children.

Oh, you do.

Yeah. I would like them to know, not to forget what I am and what they are, from where they came, or they--my daughter, I told her a lot. I mean, it's easier to tell someone--daughter. And it's very hard to talk about this kind of thing in life. Just sometimes you want to forget, you don't want to remember this kind of thing. It's like, let's forget it, let's go--the past.

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