Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

John Mandel - May 26, 1981


[Addendum to interview]

Eh, something that just occurred to me now you know, talking about this whole thing. Uh, I seem to recall, as I go along, I seem to recall so many episodes that happened to me in the concentration camp. As I go along that things seem to come back to my mind. Yet, my, in my younger days uh, I remembered the basic things in the family. But in, in, and, and I vaguely remember some faces of friends. But I really don't remember my, my, my life before then. It's, it's like if I shut it out or s... and I don't know why. You would think it would be just the opposite.

You're saying it should be that you forget the concentration camp...

Yes, and remember the...

and remember the family?

remember, remember my uh, that life before then. [

Wife: But if you remember that life before then, then you have to remember your brothers and sisters.] I remember them very vividly. [

Wife: But you don't think about them.] I do. Uh, they were very much in my mind today, uh... [

Wife: But this was during ]Yahrzeit, you know. Today is, it was my Yahrzeit. [

Wife: I can't remember once in the fifteen years we're married that you have talked about your brothers and sisters as people. Only that you had brothers and you had a little sister. But never what they were like, never their personalities, never what they did.] Oh, I remember their personalities. [

Wife: It's like you, something you just...] No, no. I, I remember, I remember their personalities, their, their, their peculiarities and everything quite, quite in uh, minutest detail. [

Wife: But you don't talk about them. That's what I'm saying.] Um, they just, just never come up in conversation. Sometimes between my brother and myself we talk about them. We do, we, we'll talk about them, particularly uh, when their birthdays come up and things like that, we'll talk about them,  uh.

How old were they?

Uh, how old were they.  Uh, my younger sister was--uh, she was the youngest--uh, let's see, I was, I was seventeen. My uh, the third one, he was fourteen.

That was Sander.

Yes. And then ???? he would have been, he would have been about twelve. He wasn't bar mitzvahed yet. And the youngest brother, he was the fifth in our family, he was about eight, eight or nine. And, and my sister was five. And... [

Wife: Which one was the one that went with your mother that your father agonized over?] Sander. The third one. [

Wife: That was Sander] Yeah, he was fourteen. Fourteen or fifteen, maybe fifteen.

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