Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Pauline Kleinberg - October 28, 1982

Health Problems

Do you suffer any physical illness as a result of your experience?

I tell you what, I feel very brave now--I have. I am constantly under doctor's care. Reactor active depression. I have a heart condition and a few other things.

Husband: Mostly your nerves.

Yeah, but I'm taking medication ??? pills a day. But I tell you, we are very brave. This superpower keeps us. I was talking--I said to this Mrs. ???, said, "I, I can see why some of the American can't believe it to that degree because they see us function normal." I said, "Yes, if I look back, I wouldn't believe it." But one thing that I've changed--and this was not now, years back--when I see blood, I can't look at it. When I see--I know I'm,--on the picture when I see those fighting, shooting, you know, which is mostly--most pictures show you this, I have to turn around, I said to him, "Tell me when it's over." There, you know, I've seen the bullets falling like, falling like a, like a ball and I didn't see. My sister was screaming, "Paula, they're shooting!" And I said, "What's the difference to be shot or to die from hunger?" When she said, "Are you shot?" and I'm full of blood, and it was from the next girl--I, like nothing happened. I was frozen, frozen. I, I didn't feel. I said, they--you see, beside this, there's a whole that, that humiliated us. They, you know, they, they broke our bodies, our hearts, our morals and all this. All during that period I was frozen, I was frozen. I could have normal when somebody dies you see. But, but it's um, after this, I can't, I can't understand why it didn't bother me then. You know, because you lived with the bullets everyday, it was like a part of living. Like this girl, she shakes, her sister stay in front with the four other girls uh, uh, she's going to be shot and she said, "Miriam, take the coat." Instead she feel if she's going to die somebody else should have it, she wants her sister to, to have it. And it was nothing, nobody made a boo. Can you sit down--I know you're not psychiatrist I know, you're not even Dear Abby.

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