Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Pauline Kleinberg - October 28, 1982

Mental Health After Experience

Does, does the past ever interfere with your life today?

It did. It did a great deal. Yes, I was, I--I'm afraid, I'm a very, very much. You know, I don't drive. And I'm not stupid to be on the road. I have a good sense of direction. I shouldn't say it, but I do, because when I drive with others, I, I, I drive. I know much worse drivers are on the road. I'm afraid. I'm chicken. I haven't got guts. I know I, I would interfere with others. Many times I talk to myself. And I know I would be a hazard to the others.

In what way?

I, I'm afraid of everything. It's a shame to say. I talk to the rebbe or a psychiatrist, you know, none of this. But that's what I feel. I'm afraid, I'm afraid of everything.

How are you afraid of everything? Are you afraid of something happening to you?

Yeah, yeah. Someday I wasn't afraid when I was in the camp. I, I, you know, dying--many times we wished to die, because the torture many times was much worse than getting a bullet or be--you know, like, I said from this Christianstadt, I didn't know it was mined. You know, when I said, you know, I was too naïve--I was young. I had never have--well, how in the world would I know about that? But when I seen--I said to my sister, "There is something here we are walking on, and I seen a little," I said, "Maybe it's--we're going to find food here." So she pulled me away. I don't know if she knew much better, but she must have had a--she must have been smarter than me. When I seen there some of the girls said they don't feel like walking, they can't walk and they're going to stay here, and they didn't object, they didn't force them out. I should have sensed that out the, the reason for their good. But I, I didn't care. But my sister cared. She said "No, you're not going to stay here, you're going to come, you're going to walk. We'll make it. See?" So I was afraid, and that's now in my life just the opposite. I'm chicken. I'm not afraid of dying--I do want to live, no question about it. When, when we were liberated, when I got already back to my senses, ??? and I found my sister, I prayed I want to live. I do want to see the change in the world which we--it's constantly in a changing world.

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