Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Praw - May 22, 1983

Talking About Experiences

You did talk with your children, and did you talk with other survivors?

A lot--with survivors, yes, but with a lot of people that are not survivors. I talk, even when I come to Tucson and I'm, I'm very happy when my kids calls me and they say, mother I went to a Holocaust, or they tell me about things, so, very, very much so, really. I'm very glad that people take interest in it and they do something, and they should teach kids, and they should teach themselves, and they should think about it that never should happen, they should never let themselves take like, like animals, by just go to fight. Better to, to die. To fight and to die. You know, you die for something, you, at least you fight about it. But not to go like we went. Nothing, you know. They didn't do anything about it. I don't know if what we could do about it in Europe, what we could do about it. An army came of Germans, what we could do? What we could do, not to go kill ourselves here, for what? To go on suffering, to go to trains to forty, fifty miles to go to be burned there with gas? Kill me! It's better to get it from a, from a gun, you know, but. I think every human being is always thinks maybe I survive, I don't believe it that I'm going to die. That's why they did it everything they told 'em to do. That's what we did in camp too. But in camp, okay, we got tired, it's just unbelievable that we are alive, that, that after so many hunger, so many no food, no water, no nothing, and, and, and we lived. This is, I always tell my kids, when I come there and we talk about it now all the time, yeah, and uh, my daughter, the younger one, she said mother, she called me the last time, she said, when we went, they had a Holocaust ??? I said, I'm so proud of you. Even the grandchildren, my daughter told me, the last time I spoke to her, she said you should see, she's eight years old, you should be--mother, you're going to be surprised what she knows now, they are teaching in the school. I am very proud of her.

You must also have the same sort of feelings with regard to, to discussing your experiences with me?

Yes. Yes. The only thing I might cry, I'm sorry. You know. Because I think it's human, you know. We wouldn't be human if we wouldn't, and, and most what I cry is not so much the suffering, it's most that I cry is that I lost my, my parents, my mother, and my grandma, and she was so close with me, you know. I was a little girl, she lived with us, I used to wash for her, I wash clothes and tried to--I don't have to be sorry that I didn't treat her nice or something because I did. At least I know this, that I accomplished with something. Being good, you know. Helping her. I slept with her for awhile because the grandfather died and she was--she lived by herself, and then she moved in with us, you know. It's just too bad that uh, nobody's, that I was, the whole family, that nobody is here, you know. Just one cousin here in Detroit but I went yesterday to visit him, before we go away, you know, and, uh...

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