Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Weiss - October 7, 1994

Kaddish for Family

Are you glad of that?

Yes. Oh yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. At least he's buried someplace. But my grandmother, my father, my mother, [pause] they are not buried. I did not have the opportunity to say Kaddish after them. To sit shiva after them. And if you think many nights I do lay awake today, even today. You know, professor, there is a saying after a tragedy, God forbid somebody dies. Time is a healer. We are fifty years after the Holocaust. It's not easier to understand. As a matter of fact, I see all this civil rights they give people and things. What happened to, to our civil rights? Did anybody fought for our civil rights. I read a book by the Rabbi Weissmandl, Weissmandl. He was negotiating with the Germans, including Eichmann, in '41, '42, '43. What I'm trying to say, people know what Auschwitz is in '41, '42, '43. Our President Roosevelt here, who I understand eighty-five percent of the Jewish people voted for him, knew [pause] what they done. Rabbi Weissmandl is saying, "Yes, at least bomb some railroad tracks. Slow, slow them down a little." But...

[interruption in interview] And this question... hurts me to ask. And I don't know the answer. Did the Jewish community in the United States done enough to save some of our people? I have to ask this. Because it, it, it, it bothers me. And I would like maybe there is an answer for that. Because knowing the Jewish community, the Jewish people of this country, how much they are helping Israel and so forth, so on. They are very good people. But I coming from there lost everything. My most precious possessions, my friends. I who was with my father, who worked with my father in the concentration camp, whom I seen what the Germans did to him. It would have been maybe better if we wouldn't be together there for a while, not to see what happened. So I have to really...this question really bothers me all these years. Where were our [short pause] Jewish brothers? And you know, sometime you start to talk like that. You have to ask again with, [short pause] "Where were our forefathers?" Because, professor, yom tov, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur we say Baruch ???. Rosh Hashana, they are writing in the book ??? Yom Kippur ??? Who should live? And who should die? Now up there somebody, whoever writes this thing they could see this year there will be a million, including children, who will go to Auschwitz and who will be gassed. And then burned. They see that. They have our Sarah, Riuka ???, our mothers. It says in the Talmud that uh, uh, uh, Sarah wasn't buried in Israel. She was buried on the road as she was going because then the ??? will uh, uh, uh, try to kill the Jewish people. She will go up into heaven and ask and, it says, she will cry for ye...for her children. She will beg God. And I really, you know, and I used to have as a child believing, strong believing and by all the tragedies--Jewish people went through tragedies over the years. We had Moshe. To--pharaoh. And we Mordechai by Haman. And we had people; we had people who, who defend us. Who ask God, and with God helps we would say. [long pause]

Not this time.

No. Not this time. Not this time. And again, I think that every survivor has this question. Why me? I know of people who were more observant, who knew more Talmud, who learned more, who, who, who begged more, who, who was better than I. Why me? [long pause]

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