Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Weiss - October 7, 1994

Talking to Family About the Holocaust

And did you talk to them about--well when you came to the States did you tell anybody about the...

It was very, very hard to talk. It was very hard to talk. And believe you me still, still, still your mind isn't clear really. Because in other words, sometimes your mind has to accept, take in, digest things. And certain things are so hard, it's better maybe, maybe understand, maybe, maybe one of these days I will get it maybe, maybe. And as the years pass by...uh, in, in, in, in, in 1950, let's say 1950, she would have been forty-nine years old. So at that time, you know, but the hope do fade away but is it faded altogether? Well the right brain would say yes. Could you really... Where--could that really happen? The way it happened?

When you were in the States, here or in West Virginia, did anyone ask you about any of it?

Not that much details. I don't think so. I don't think people asked me. You see when I came to West Virginia... Well that was right after the liberation and things. But really if somebody would sit down with me fifteen minutes and talk about it and ask me, I for sure wasn't the one who would open a conversation about it. And with whom we will talk about it more is with a survivor because you don't need any explanation, any, any, any, anything--like I heard a story there were two Jewish people in Germany during the war. They were sitting on a bench reading both papers and one says, "Oy vey." The other says, "You telling me." I mean this when you talk to the survivors. We don't have to and so forth, so on.

So you didn't talk about this?

No, no, no...

Did you tell your children anything?

Yes, yes, yes, yes. I tell you the mo...the most of the times when we did talk. We used to watch uh, uh, uh, Colonel Klink...

Oh, Hogan's Heroes.

Star...Hogan's Heroes. Said really that's the way it was? If they can make fool out of the Germans and so forth, so on. And then I used to tell them a little here and there and over there.

They must have--you must have told them more in that sense. Did they ever ask about their grandparents?

Yes, yes. As a matter of fact, when my... when my son was smaller he did came in once, that was birthday parties and he's sitting by the neighbor. Then the grandparents came and they brought him presents. "My, my, my, why my grandparents didn't come?" and so forth. That hit him in the sense of presents.

What did you tell him?

Well, well, well, and that was--he was small then and they died, they died, I couldn't tell him that there were some people who would take some people and put 'em in, in, in and so forth. I couldn't tell him. I mean uh, I couldn't. I don't think that could be...to a child it would shock and so forth. I don't think that, that's the right thing...I, I, I didn't told him.

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