Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Pauline Kleinberg - October 28, 1982

Survivor's Guilt

Uh, do you think about what happened a lot? Do you think about it a lot?

You know what, I feel guilty. I, I don't--I hadn't--I never forget it. But for some reason, I don't know, I haven't shared enough--I hadn't forward it enough this to my children. I don't know if their fault or my fault. I think it's my fault. I'm afraid of it. You know what, I'm surprised and I took something for all this now, because I have high blood pressure and all this. I probably couldn't--I must have been selfish. I didn't want to hurt myself talking about it. I remember when my son--he was three years old when we came--see we was two and a half when he came to the States. We were three years when we came in July, he was here a few months before. So he met me this building--the apartment on Pingree, you know, already other kids in his age. When we came to a birthday party, he said, "How come Jeffrey has so many grandmothers and grandfathers and all this?" So then I started--I said, "Because there was war. We were in Europe and there was a war and there was a Hitler who had a policy of genocide and he killed--there was a lot of killing and, and your grandparents got killed. And I was in concentration camp and I lived there." He listened and then he said--he was watching television--first television we bought--he seen Truman. He must have understood it by three years of age, that he is a leader and he said, "Was Hitler a friend of Truman's? Was Hitler--Truman a friend of Hitler's, if--not--I'm not going to watch him." He was three years old. But they do know--but whatever I can, I buy a book I--as a gift for Hanukkah I pick a book from the Holocaust to send it to them, you know, uh, as a present, because they don't need more tchochkes. But yet personally, I been so much through.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn