Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lola Taubman - December 22, 2009

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When you came to the United States, did you talk about it to anyone?

Talk about it?

Talk about...

Nobody talked about it. Nobody. I went to a wedding...

Not even to each other? Your friends?


Not even to each other? Other survivors?


You didn't talk to each other about it.

No, no. We wanted to forget it and start a new life.

Do you have nightmares? Did you have nightmares?

Do I have nightmares?

Did you?

To this day, to this day, to this day. Always--it's not very pleasant. I see my husband, where we are going on a train and I cannot, I cannot get close to him. I cannot touch him.

Daughter: Before my dad died, when we were growing up, particularly when we were teenagers, my mother, I would say, woke up screaming at the top of her lungs maybe four, four to five nights a week--four out of seven nights a week.

But you know what happened? I came to, to some function in the family, I came to Great Neck and we slept at my uncle's house. Their children and, and--I was already married and I woke up in the middle of the night saying, "My bed is on fire, my bed is on fire." I woke everybody up. I felt so bad disturbing everybody.

Your uncles didn't ask you about what happened?

He, he probably knew it from his wife, from my aunt.

Daughter: This was the uncle whose wife was in the camp with my mother.

Right, so he knew.

But the uncles who had come here before the war?

Daughter: The Americans--what about the American cousins and J...Jake and the other uncles? No?

No, we never talked about it. As a matter of fact I live with my uncle's son in Great Neck with them and he would give me rides to work to Manhattan. They were so nice to me. And the boys are now grown and big. I slept with one of the little boys, just for fun.

Daughter: You know, my mother's--so my father's youngest brother, the only one who's still alive, Alfred, only knew little details about...

He doesn't, doesn't know much.

Daughter: I know. But recently I told him more when he was in New York visiting me...


Daughter: ...and he burst into tears.

This is Al Taubman?

Daughter: Yeah. He was just so...

He's an amateur historian.

Daughter: Yes, he is. He was a, was a pilot in the war, but in Asia.

They didn't want to hear about it either.

Daughter: Yeah.

If you didn't want to talk about it, they didn't want to hear anyway. Other people didn't want to hear about it either.

I know. And, you know, in Florida I went to talk to schools. I was very involved with the Holocaust Center there. The--a, a woman who was very bright, smart and knew languages and she married a ri...a rich man. So she started--they, they, they paid for the building that was built and then little by little people gave them money.

Where is this?

In, in uh, Maitland...

Daughter: Outside of Orlando.

...outside of Orlando.


Daughter: It's a big, it's a big...

If you have a chance, you gotta go see it.

I haven't seen it. No, I haven't seen it

You have seen it?

I have not, no.

Daughter: My mo...so they are the, even though it's privately funded, the state sends teachers and educators from all over the state to be taught how to teach Holocaust education because it's required by their curriculum in the state--it's a state mandate. But not the entire time we were growing up. This was only afterwards in the eighties, later eighties especially, and early nineties.

Yeah, that's when it all--it was a kind of explosion.

Daughter: Right.

You know, I go to school and one boy stand up, "My father told me it never happened."

Daughter: Someone else asked when did they have time to go shopping?

Or they wanted to know if there was a menu, menu in Auschwitz and what did we do for entertainment. I'll tell you what we did for entertainment: they gave us balls and a blanket at the edge of the road where the transport came that they should think that this is a resort.

Daughter: So the orchestra played...



Daughter: ...and they had to sit and look like they were at leisure.

Did you hear about that?

No, I hadn't heard about that. I heard about the orchestra. Do you still go to schools?

Uh, I don't now, uh...

Daughter: She's been to my older son's school when he was in eighth grade, so he's an eleventh grader now at the public school And my younger son, who's in eighth grade, his teachers asked if she would come in the spring, because they only teach it--she teaches it, not the whole school necessarily.

At the end of the year.

Daughter: At the end of the year of the last year and they had the entire eighth grade come to hear her speak and not a child made a--you could hear a pin drop.

What's the school?

Daughter: Forsythe Middle School in Ann Arbor.

And what's the high school?

Daughter: Uh, there's several. There's Pioneer.

Does your son go to Pioneer?

Daughter: My older son was at Pioneer, my younger son will go to the new school, Skyline. And uh, she's spoken at the temple in their religious school classes twice but not with any regularity here.

What is that college in Winter Park?

Daughter: Rollins College.

I spoke at Rollins College too and outlying areas far away. They were very nice. I spoke in another town on the way to Daytona Beach, I forget the name. The, you know, the teachers, I spoke when the teachers came for a seminar in the summertime. And one woman said, "Please hold off, let me run out and get a tape recorder." And she sent me, she sent me tapes--would you believe, I never, never heard a tape of mine?

You'll hear this one. We'll send you a copy.

I never had, had the opportunity. My husband, was busy, busy working, working.

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