Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sonia Nothman - January 4, 1983

Talking about Experience

Did you ever talk about um, things that happened during the war to people that you met here? Did people ever ask you about the war, about...

Yeah. My neighbor. Oh yeah ???. My kids, my nieces. They could listen for--I, I can't wait my grandchildren to grow up to tell them. 'Cause they're too young now, the oldest is eight years old. She wouldn't understand. I myself sometimes can...When I look back I think it's, uh... I, I dreamt that it's not true. How can you tell in a couple hours what you went through in seven years? It's impossible. I remember when I--in Skarżysko, in the beginning when they took me it was, uh...I dreamt every night. Every single night I dreamt. And I felt so good, I'm with my mother and I woke up, said oh, I want to go back to them. Because see you live in a home you love, you love everybody, they take you away. Nobody can understand. It's impossible. That's why I--when I left, the people staying in ??? true. My gosh, they are free to go to town. I know ??? I think all people who lived in a concentration camp are willing to share, I think. Okay, maybe some people more, some less but uh, because they know, they lived through hell.

Do you have any physical illnesses in regard to the camp?

Back. Back problems. Not just now. When I walked here in 1950, over on 12thStreet there was a chiropractor, Dr. ??? Back then I was much, much younger then. I had trouble. But he used to bring his lamp and make me do exercise ??? I think uh, it developed when I carried the crates. Every year I have a ??? I get a pinched nerve or a bruised nerve. Last year I got a bruised nerve.

How do you um, feel about Israel?

Oh, very strong. Very. I love Israel. I wish they would go out from ??? every day. One ??? I know they cannot go out because uh, where ??? they used to shell. At least it's quiet. I have lots of friends in Israel. I just have a letter today from ???, her daughter Ophelia. She was born here. She met a guy, he's a principal, a teacher there in a school. And he didn't want to stay here. So I got a letter from her.

Do you ever have nightmares?

Mm, sort of, sort of. Yeah, sort of. I--I'm thinking about it, I don't have to dream about it. Here when I put the candles Friday, I know that...No, I don't believe much.

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