Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ruth Muschkies Webber - February 2, 1987


Do you remember fantasizing, having dreams, did you have a fantasy world?

Oh definitely. Definitely. All these times when I had to disappear and find a little hole where to hide I couldn't possibly think of what was going on outside, because I knew that if I'm discovered where I'm hiding, that will be my last minute. So I would fantasize about my sister. What a wonderful life she has, and what I could have had if I had only made the right decision. Of little stories that my mother would be telling me all the time about home, about my grandparents, do I remember when we would have cholent or other things that were happening, happy occasions that were happening in our house. For instance, I had a favorite dress, and uh, I always wanted to wear it and I talked about it. My mother would be talking about this. Anything that she knew that would bring me pleasure she would talk to me about. And at that time my fantasies were only of what life could be like for me if I was not in this situation. And I couldn't understand why I was in this kind of situation, why I wasn't able to play like the children were playing ball outside, why I wasn't able to have enough food, not to feel a certain feeling in my stomach. I didn't understand it so I fantasized that I had all this. You see having my mother with me was such a wonderful thing that now that I think about it, when we used to get out our rations, she would tell me to save mine for later and she would give me hers. So, I was very fortunate, really. I lost touch with my father right there. He seemed to have been sent to another camp. He was aware of us and he was doing a lot of things for us that I wasn't aware of through connections that he had. People that knew him. People that he had done favors for that they were doing favors, paying him back favors like getting us back, let's say, from a very bad camp that we happened to be in to a camp like Ostrowiec or back to Bosahoff. That was all done for favors, in a way. Because there was a limited amount of people that they were just taking from one place to another and everybody wanted to be in the better camp. In a camp that you knew the people that were in charge, you had a better chance of surviving. You maybe got an extra piece of bread, maybe you were allowed to do certain things that you were repaid with, with a piece of bread. Like cleaning or other things.

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