Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zofia Szostak - 1985


And then he said, you know, about this, because my, my Mary, my daughter told, told him, "Oh, my mother knows something about this," you know, "and she has some, some books," you know. And um, when finally I started saying, he told me, "Don't say this. Don't say that." He did never allowed me to go, go and tell the students, "This is too terrible to tell them." And this is when I was really angry at that point, you know, I, I didn't even care, because, maybe, really this would be, even my daughter says, "Well you know, mother, is better if you don't go, because your English is not, not very good, you know, and uh, children might be, might make some strange remarks, or you don't know how..." Uh, this community is, is, if you, if you talk, if you are a little bit different, you know, you are different, you know, you just don't belong here, you know. And uh, so, you know, I talk to this teacher over the phone and he says, "No, we can't, we can't tell all of this, this is too terrible." But I told him, "Okay now uh, would you talk to Mr. ??? He's quite willing to come and talk." Now his English is much better than mine, you know, he finished college over, over here, after the war. And he can explain too, because he was in a camp, he can explain to you. He refuse, he never, he never called him, because uh...now I found out later that he's, he was probably of German descent or something. So he told the children a little bit, but he, he really didn't tell. Now was also a feeling, and I heard this from many, many other people that I, I met, and um, some of them are teachers, "Do not disturb the children, this is too disturbing." But how do you really disturb the child, why this is supposed to be so disturbing? They watch television, and watch movie like "Jaws" or some, some even worse and I think they pretty immune already. To me, I, I would be really only afraid if uh, they would really believe that this is the truth, maybe in their mind this would be just another film, another story, maybe stage, a photo montage or something, you know?

What did you tell the teacher that he thought was so terrible?

Oh, I, I told him plainly, and I think he got a little offended. I said, "Well, you know, try to save those, those uh, our dar...spoiled darlings now, and uh, uh, who knows what life has in store for them? Maybe is better if they, if uh, they find out something, you know?" And you know, he just...I don't know. He was not willing too much to, to listen, he was politely, you know, he finished the conversation and how, you know, so. That's why, this is why, when I was told that this is going to be a movie over here, I just had to come. I was afraid that would be the same reaction, you know, maybe some, some young people would come up and say, "Oh, I don't believe that this is true," or something, and this is when I was ready to say, "Yes, this was true."

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