Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Pauline Kleinberg - October 28, 1982

Teaching the Holocaust

Yesterday I was at a conference where I heard some survivors speaking. It was, it was to teach teachers...


...how to talk about the Holocaust to their students.

I wonder how they can forward it, I mean it's...

Yeah. One of the survivors said, "You know, we're the chosen people, but to this day I have to ask, chosen for what?"

Chosen for, for, for suffering. Chosen. But see if you, you know what, I remember as being a kid, I said, my parents--we were more conservative than--in comparison to the European Jews. But I was a little nudnick. You heard of a nudnick? My father used to make the seder, it was so beautiful. It was so beautiful and it was so much to ask. I kept on asking, "Why this?" I had an idea about uh, you know, why the seder is there, about uh, you know, being exiled and all this uh, ??? and with all that jazz. So I kept asking, why this, and why this. He said, "Because we are Jewish and this is the bitter and this is for that." I said, "Why should it be like this?" He said, "Oh." And I--when he did not answer, he said, "You're going to find out for yourself." I feel now that my father felt about all this like I do. There's no answer. Why, why should it be like this? For this we were chosen? No wonder no wanted--nobody wanted the Torah. I would pick a few good things from the Torah. It's educational, it's mind uh, opening and all this. But I want keep all this--the, the restrictions and, and all this that we should be different from the whole world. And everybody--why always persecuted? For this we were chosen? How, how do those teachers or those professors, I mean, I'm so stupid but, you know, professor must be cultured and know better, how do they explain this?

I can tell you how I would explain it.

Yeah, please.

One is can we finish with the tape and then...

Yeah, oh. I haven't stopped. I'm still on tape?

You're still on tape.

Oh, all this.


I won't recognize myself.

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