Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maximilian Kowler - April 26, 1984

Speaking About the Holocaust II

And there a young lady in the corner of the room raised her hand, and I asked her what she wanted to say. She said, "Mr. Kowler, what makes you believe that we understood only seventy-five or eighty percent? Mr. Kowler, I know exactly what you said, because my parents--my grandparents always told me about the lynchings in the South." She compared what happened to us--she was black--she compared what happened to us with the lynchings in the South. When I left that school, believe me I knew every mile I traveled to go to that school--it's about an hour's drive from here--was worth it. Uh, it's good that I don't like to dwell on our past, but it's good to talk about it. Now recently I was invited to talk about the, the book Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed--it was that I interested them in the book. They find out--some people bought the book, and then they formed sort of a like a social book club, or something like that thing--two churches here. Each of the church invited me uh, once to come to a discussion of--about the book. Uh, in one church it became three nights, the other church it became two nights. Uh, non-ending. Radio station invited me, for example--two radio stations--one of them on the call-in show that I was on the show. People were permitted to call in, and uh, uh, ask questions which I had to answer immediately, which is uh, really tough. It's easy to answer when you sit somebody face-to-face and you can either evade uh, direct answer or think about the answer you want to give, or correct your answer. On the radio you really can't. I was a bit uncomfortable at the beginning, but it worked out all right. The, the, the man who ran that show--who owns that show was uh, pretty uh, good to put me at ease. Uh, one night I had a--after the show I had a very nasty phone call. Somebody called me and uh, and uh, really gave me some--said some dirty names to me--called me some dirty names, which scared me some. Dirty names--not threatening, but dirty names, which on the first call I didn't understand, but then he called me back five minutes later--same voice again--I recognized the voice. Not that I know the voice, but I realized it was the same voice, and called me the same thing again, and then I knew that I understood well the first time. Was anti-Semitic uh, anti-Semitic call.

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