Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Seeing Someone Be Killed

This went on every night?

This went on about every day or every night and subsided then. They started to, to cleanse or to bandage, there were no possibilities to go to a physician, everything was in bad--and I remember that going on. And then there was a, there seemed to have been a day when uh, the planes were not flying. And my mother let me, allowed me to go down into the courtyard to play. Our building was like a square for--you would have like a square made out of buildings and inside was a large courtyard and it--and there was a gate to the entrance and the entrance to every building was inside the courtyard, not on the outside. And she will, allowed me to play in the courtyard and suddenly those planes came coming. And a man who was at the end walking at the, and somehow under the open sky a bomb fell and he was killed on the spot. This is the first time I saw someone killed. I got scared and, and my mother started, came down right away to take me upstairs and--I have to stop if I could rub my eye. Excuse me.

Let me go back for a second. This is the first time you saw someone...


...murdered. What did you do?

Uh, I went up to the man...

You went up to the body?

...I went up to the bo...I didn't realize. I just saw him fall. And suddenly this, all the planes... And I went up to the person and I saw this streak of blood and he wasn't moving. And then my mother came running and grabbed me and took me upstairs into the apartment. And I said, "He--they killed him?" And she said, "Yes. And you can't be outside now. You can't because this is what can happen to us." Then, and that didn't--the whole thing was probably a week time. The whole...

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn