Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Malka Sternberg - January 31, 2008

Life After the War

I think you're right. Um, is there anything you'd like to add to, to what we've talked about?

I can't of anything now. It's just bring me the subjects back and I'll answer.

Well, what do you think the, the future of Holocaust education might be?

I don't think there's such a thing as Holocaust education. Either you know it or you don't know it--you don't want to know it. If you want to know it there's plenty ???. But I would like to add something which is an amazing statement because I feel one of the children whose parents didn't bring them up because we were seven years--I left as an eleven year old child and I was eighteen when I came back. And I earned my living, I'd worked before, you know, I earned my living, I had a profession. I had my ideas and my views and everything and I'm talking about myself but it happened with every case I'd seen. It's very few exceptions. My father left off--started where he left off--the eleven year old child and I went through a terrible time because I didn't want to leave him. All the others had left their parents--all the ones I knew who had came like that all left their parents. Some had different excuses--they wanted to learn be a nurse, they wanted to live in Jerusalem if their parents were in Tel Aviv--all sorts of excuses not to live with their parents. My father--I didn't know what, what shellshock meant in those days, I only found it out after he passed away. Shellshock was never taken as seriously as an illness and by the time I found out he was already passed away seven years. It's laying on my heart that I didn't know it at the time. But uh, it was very, very difficult. In all the cases that we know of, the children could not relate to the parents and the parents could not relate to the children. I don't know what the feeling was that they--it isn't their work, it isn't their child. They should've left--they wanted to start where they left off. My brother never came here and one of the reason was he saw what I went through so he didn't want to. He stayed in England, he became a doctor, studied medicine and then they went to Canada. So, this is a part that people don't know; this rift between parent and their children in nearly every case, in a different way--not always the same way--in a different way but nearly every case that I know of and I know a lot of cases that ended up like that. It was a tragedy in a way.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn