Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Memories of the Spanish Civil War

Do you remember any?

Yes, I remember. Well, first of all I remember--this was not a children's--??? which means throw--apparently there was a newspaper called Falange--throw it in the garbage and buy the workers weekly. Then I remember a little poem, which says ??? I don't know why I'm getting emotional ???. I forgot something. Uh, okay, I forgot how it went further. What it meant is, how, in translation. "Pedro's father was"--what is the term for someone who works with dynamites in the military or something? Anyway...


..."Pedro's father was the one who worked with dynamites. And this is what he said before going to bed: 'If I will not succeed in defending my country, Spain, my son will do it for me. Long live Madrid fight.' For a long time they couldn't, the heroes could not be destroyed." And then it went something, and I forgot. And you know, I'm really amazed why I become emotional about that.

Why do you think?

It probably brings, it brings back my home. Not so much. I don't cry for Spain, I was too young to understand. I knew that they were good men. My mother said they were going to volunteer for the--they are righteous men and they are going to volunteer and fight in the war for the workers. But uh, that didn't have much of an impact. But probably this brings back the picture of my childhood, for which, about which I must be very emotional.

Did your parents cry for Spain?

Uh, my parents were--there was a lot of talk about it. There was a lot of talk and there was a lot of involvement of what was going on in Spain. And there was a lot of reading of articles. Uh, so it was a part of our life.

But you were small. You...

Yes, I was, you know, when the war broke out I was--when was it, in uh, in '39--when the war broke out I was seven years old, just barely, six and a half. Yeah, seven.

So you were three or four.

Yes, but I remember. I...

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