Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Malka Sternberg - January 31, 2008

Memories and Sharing Story

Let me ask you a different kind of question: are there things that trigger memories, things that you sort of do in your daily life that trigger memories about your war experiences, the train...

Yes, a lot of things. It happens very often and it's part of my life. I haven't forgotten any of the things--see, I've forgot where I've put the pictures but I didn't forget the stories I'm telling you.

So, it's with you most of the time...

Yes, it's with me all of the time. I wouldn't be me without these things. This is part of my life. It's what made me.

And you've told the story to other people.

Well, only that one time.

Just the one time.

Yes. Also, I had no idea that they were coming to interview. They phoned me up, "Would you, would you talk about that?" so I said, "I don't know enough to talk to who is going to be there for..." They came to interview me the next day, there was this team, and they asked lots of questions and that's all. I had no idea what they were going to ask me.

So this was a video that took place?


This was a video interview?

Yes. It was on television. We were on television.

There's--in the last twenty years or so, there's been a kind of explosion of interest in the...

Yes, yes.

...Holocaust. I mean, Academy Award winning movies...


...documentaries, plays...

Especially things like ours which were not so well known before. Auschwitz everybody knew. The concentration camps everybody knew. But our type of thing was sort of sidelined. It wasn't considered the Holocaust experience. It was something--a sideline because we were safe. We were not in the Holocaust. We were safe, we were in England.

Well, would you consider yourself a survivor? Would you call yourself a survivor?

I don't know if I would call myself but other people call me a survivor.

Well, I would, I mean, uh...

I feel that we sort of were lucky that we got out and my mother, my mother was not so lucky and that what was hurting me. She was such an exceptional person and such a terrible end.

You've been to Yad Vashem I assume.

Oh, yes. We live very near the Yad Vashem.

What do you think of it?

I haven't seen it remade but I told you when--we've been going since it was done--since it began and it was a wonderful thing that it is and I think now they put a lot more things in it, a lot more ideas, a lot of more different, different, different angles of, of vision.

We went two days ago and we hadn't been in twenty, twenty years so it's very, very different from the last time.

Yes, yes, yes.

Some of this other material--the TV shows, the novels, the plays--have become very popular. Do you think that, that, that there's a kind of trivialization of the, of the Holocaust?

I don't think it's trivialization. I think it should be known and it should be ab...absorbed by people and it should be known all of the world and there's no exaggeration in it. If you want spread it out, you have to do it that way. There's no other way.

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