Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Hearing About Nazi Horrors

In 1945?

Mm-hm. To see what was going--and when I saw those piles of clothing and those piles of human hair and the combs on one side and then they showed products made from human skin, lamps and soap. It was very hard for me. But somehow must be suppose the time of life that now and then took over soon and it didn't stay with me forever. I did hear, even as a child, as a youngster in the former Soviet Union we heard some stories that I was horrified, that I couldn't understand. We heard about the Nazi horrors. And I remember in particular, and I must have been oh, maybe ten, eleven years old, and in that setting I was not as sophisticated as today youngsters watching television. I knew very little about sex. I'm not so sure that I even knew how babies are born. But shortly at that time I heard stories how the Germans trained dogs to rape women. And see what occurs either in behavior or some genetics, mutation. And I remember being so horrified and I remember then trying to understand what it means, rape, and I needed some older girls to explain to me. And I couldn't shake that off. I couldn't shake it off.

We'll come back to--later.

Okay. You just direct it and ask me questions.

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