Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Rotbaum Ribo - July 5, 2005

Sharing Story

Well let me, let me go back for a couple of, couple of minutes...


Um, when you were in England, right after the war...


Did you talk to anyone about your experiences?

Not much.

Why not?

I did only if I was approached and asked.

So no one asked?

Some did. But I just gave a general--I can't not--I, I don't know why, but I never openly offered my story.

Why do you think?

I think maybe because I was so young, I didn't grasp the, the situation in which I was and I just lived from day to day. I think that's the reason.

And was there a period of mourning, you think, that you went through, for your family?

Um, of course eh, there was. Eh, there were the holi...the Jewish holidays, and the remembrance days of the Holocaust. Eh, and then in many cases, you know, especially when I met my uncle, and eh, and later Henry. My uncle came to Israel and eh, occasions that were connected somehow directly with the Holocaust. But otherwise I think I somehow--I put it back into my--in the back there.

So were there or are there um, moments--sounds, sights--that jog a memory of, of your experience?

Oh yes, now, of course. Eh, specific things, you know, on specific occasions. Um, for instance eh, if there's a...an item--a news item that somebody was hanged somewhere, anywhere, somehow the hanging, eh, this comes back to me, in Pionki...

In Pionki.

Yeah. Eh, other disasters. Eh, burning--if somebody was burned in a--it comes back.

You said you did a lot of reading. Did you read Night by Elie Wiesel? Elie Wiesel?



No, I read another book of his eh, what's it called? Don't know at the moment.

There, there's a public hanging there, where three men are--two men and a young boy are hanged, and everybody has to watch.

This I didn't read. I read another book of his eh, also. Not this one.

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