Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Pauline Kleinberg - October 28, 1982

Visiting Israel

You ever been to Israel?

Twice. I cried when I stepped first off. I could see my father saying "L'shanah haba'ah birushalayim--next year in Jerusalem." And I went in Israel--to Jerusalem to see the Wailing Wall. I thought--I've never learned the Bible. But I'm walking and I'm seeing the Bible. It's not real. I said, "I'm going to find my mother and I'm going to find my father and I"--I didn't believe it's real, because I heard so much. I thought it's just to be in the books and to keep on saying it.

Just a fairy story.

Yeah, yeah. Like in a fa...that's right. ??? I should all--I could only share this with the rest of my family--with my father. Because I questioned him, I ??? from always with all different questions and mostly about Pesach, you know, during the seder. And he cried, when you have a chance to question a lot. Now could you ever believe in such a barbarism? What, what I wonder what people here--you know what, one time I went to a doctor to a, for test, I went to a biomedical dia...biomedical diagnostic center. And this girl takes first down your health history, you know. I went there for a certain stre...stress test. ??? I told her, "Yeah and I've had chicken pox and measles, blah, blah, blah," all those things and your mother had this and that. I said, "Don't ask me about mother and father, I don't know. They died young--they were killed." She said, "Why? In a car accident?" I said "No, they were killed by Hitler." "Why?" I said, "They were not criminals. They didn't rob no one, they didn't kill no one." I said, "Hitler." I said, "How old are you?" She said, "Thirty-three." I said, "Have you ever heard of World War II?" She said, "Yes. Oh, you mean Hitler." She said, "Yes." "You don't know?" She didn't know and she's Jewish. She didn't know from Adams. And she thought they were killed--they must have been criminals. I told her right away. She was so dumb, I don't know. I mean, people here before the Holocaust--before it came to light--because I, I heard of one man saying that he knows a lady--I heard this in Florida--he knows a lady in uh, Toronto, she said she was talking all her years about Holoca...about the Holoc...about concentration camp, about her parents, about this--he said, "Oh shut up." They thought she's out of her mind. He said, later when the first--the picture was showing, The Holocaust, he said, "I can see what she meant. Now I can see what she meant." She, she uh, they thought--he said, they thought that she's not okay. I'll tell you this, you see. If not for that Holocaust--the picture--I think we would die with our history. We, we would die. We wouldn't know. Just Jews--the European Jews would know how Israel was born, on what expense. That ??? and if we would die that Israel was because we have brave boys and they tried to fight. So I wonder how, how, how you try to do this in the schools. Like enter the regular curriculum or what? Yeah? She...

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn