Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nathan Roth - February 4, 1983


You said that you had amnesia afterwards. When did that happen?

You know, to tell you the truth, I did not realize that I had amnesia, until my wife told me about it. I just didn't think about anything, I didn't remember anything, I didn't remember Auschwitz, I didn't remember uh, uh, uh Bereznyy I didn't remember anything, it was kind of like I was born in March 1945. I didn't remember anything. It went on for a couple, three months, uh...

Did you talk to anybody about when you regained...

No. It just came back at me gradually and uh, it wasn't all of a sudden. No amnesia and everything, it just crept back. And if I was going to do a self-diagnosis, I think I was trying to block everything out but I didn't succeed.

Subsequently, did you tell people what had happened to you after that?

I haven't told that to anybody really, until recently. I think to my son I told it to my son a few times. Uh, one or two times.

Why didn't you tell them?

Uh, I don't know. I really don't know. It uh, it is very hard. This is very hard. It's really very hard...

But you have to...

I don't know. Uh, I think perhaps and I have thought about this, that it is so unbelievable, if somebody would tell me, what happened to somebody, I think perhaps I would be a little bit skeptical about it. You know? And uh, it's not because, because I was afraid I might give a trauma or something, it is not that, it was so unrealistic until recently. The whole thing. I have to go back to myself and think, what, what happened that, in Jaworzno. I remember when you pulled out this guy from this big urine filled container and I knew him too. Not that I knew him real well, but here he was face down, floating over there and uh, all these things that were so unreal, you know, uh?

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn