Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Larry Wayne - 2005


Do you, um... You mentioned something about a Mendelssohn symphony.

I did.

Are there things on a regular basis that you see that touches off a memory?

I beg your pardon?

Is there something that touches off a memory, like hearing the Mendelssohn.

Oh yeah, yeah, very much so. Mendelssohn symphony, all the time.

But on a day to day basis, is there anything that makes you suddenly remember what happened earlier?

All the time something happens which, that it, it, and you say oh, oh, that was so and so and that was so and so. You, you know... And I happened to be very fortunate that I came to the United States and I lived a wonderful life since I came to the United States. I got a wonderful wife. I have four children, nine grandchildren and thank God all my children are successful and they're good children and the grandchildren are wonderful. And really had a wonderful life, still have. And I'm going to be eighty-one. But, you never forget. Any little item can trigger it off and, and you're not the same person.

What, for example?

An...an...just anything. You see, I sometimes see a German Shepherd, that might trigger it off. I see somebody leading a German Shepherd and all of a sudden boom. I see a policeman. I mean, we live in a free country, so you're not supposed to be afraid of the police. If I see a policeman I still get kind of like nervous, because it's, it's a police.

Just the uniform.

Just the uniform. I mean, there, there are thousands of things that can trigger anything.


And then...chimneys. My wife said that I'm going, saying that I'm going to die, I'm going to get a heart attack. I was going back to the trip that I was in, in Hanover to testify in the war criminal case. And I don't know why, but up to that time I never seen it, never heard it. When we got... I never told, I guess by train or whatever it was, you know. And then the train's not... I went back to Hamburg after Hanover. From Hanover we had to go to Hamburg and we traveled by train. And we got to the, to the railroad station and the locomotion was going "choo choo" I almost had a nervous breakdown. I thought I was back in uh, going to Auschwitz. She almost had to force me to get on the train. I look back and I say, I can't understand it. I can understand it, I guess, but, you know, I don't want to admit to it. And get myself together on that train, they took us to Auschwitz.

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