Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Moved into an Orphanage

What did your parents tell you when they sent you off?

They told us that they would try to see us as much as they could, that this is the best, that we will be taken care of, and that they would come, and when the war is over or think it's better, they will come and pick us up. Uh, I don't remember any great anxiety, as if it was uh, I was passive, is it the level of starvation that you see children in, in, in African countries sit aimlessly, with the, even they don't chase away the flies. There must have been some element of uh, passivity. I don't remember rebelling. I don't remember being angry at it. I just accepted it as another way that things have to be done. Even in uh, the Asian parts, winters were heavy. There was snow in the winter and I remember in the, I didn't have any shoes. No one in the orphanage had shoes. We had socks made from a blanket. In the wintertime the dining area was another room outside a distance and you couldn't mo...go internally from one room to another. We had to go outside in order to go to the dining area for our meal. There were a few boys, the older boys who were teenagers and I would--just judging from what I recall their size, maybe sixteen, seventeen--they were the only one who were given shoes. They carried us from one room to another during, for the dinning. A few at a time. I remember one under each arm, one on the neck, and they transported us from the dining room to our regular room. They were also the ones who were sent for various errands. Uh, there was a outer house, that there was no bathroom. We had to go outside...

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