Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

John Mandel - May 26, 1981

Reminders of Experience

What affects you?

Well, as I told you uh, the end result of that particular episode when I watched uh, when I watched The Holocaust. Uh, I was able to sit through it and watch the whole thing and, and uh, I didn't really--it didn't really affect me until the, the, the very last episode where, where the survivor of the family bounded over that brick wall uh, whatever it was there and went on that soccer field and joined the boys that were going to Israel in a game of soccer. And, and to me that man that, that he's ready to begin life anew. And, and I just, at that point I broke down and I, I just completely lost control. But up until then I was just sitting there watching the whole thing without--completely detached, just looking at it and, and uh, with interest.

You told me that you played soccer in the Displaced Persons camp.

Yes, I did.

Could that have reminded you of yourself?

Well, perhaps. Uh, I played soccer here too. Um, we, we formed a uh, uh, soccer team after we came over here. We, we fort...uh, we formed a uh, generally our social activities when we first came to this country were centered around the Jewish Center. At that time the Jewish Center was located on Woodward and Clermont.

I remember.

And uh, we, we formed a choir. And uh, we--there was a... The, the, no, the soccer team was in existence. A matter of fact, the coach of the soccer team that... Uh, there was a Jewish soccer team called the Maccabees at that time. He came down to the Jewish Center to recruit players for his team. And he found a number of us uh, uh, that joined the team. And I enjoyed that, that was something that I liked to do uh. So, maybe that had something to do with it, I don't know. Maybe I saw myself in that. That's very possible...

[interruption in interview]

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