Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eva Wimmer - January 1, 1985

Relationship with Neighbors

It's unbelievable that we are here and yet it was remarks even here in the country, I heard this, including one of my neighbors, a Jewish lady, which I am really embarrassed to repeat this just to show what difference it can be between people. There is one Jewish neighbor who is so jealous, who is so vicious that she had the guts to say to me once for no reason, for a reason which is embarrassed to repeat. My nephew came over when he was maybe seven years old with my sister, and they had a dog at the time. And their dog made on my lawn so my nephew said to this girl who was out with the dog, my nephew said, "???, why don't you, why don't you let your dog make on your lawn. Why does your dog make on my aunt's lawn?" just like two children. She went in viciously, the daughter, crying, "Mother, you should see what, what, what this uh, this neighbor's uh, nephew said to me!" And she made up a long story. So the mother, not asking me what happened nicely, politely, on the phone or she would like to come over and say, she picked up the phone--this was a Thursday evening--and she gave me, "You with your family you should remain there in Germany or whatever in Poland you should all get killed and you survived and you are here and you are not even grateful what we did!" What she did? What did she do? I said, "Millie, do you know what you are saying?" She says, "Yes, I am not taking it back. This is what I say and this is what I mean. You should bend down on your hands and knees and thank all of us for taking you in." I said, "Millie, you know what, I have no business with you anymore. I never had too much of business. I have no use for you. Goodbye." And from this day on, it's probably sixteen years later--we are here eighteen years in this house. Two years we were just friends, hello, how are you, that's all, neighbors, but since then, six...sixteen years nothing, nothing. And there was so much going on here because I have, my husband is, is a sick man, unfortunately, and my daughter is a sick girl, which has nothing to do with the war. It's just unfortunately my husband had a heart attack um, eight years ago and he also, I'll say, um, suffered a lot in the war um, and it was before the liberation, maybe two weeks or a week before it, he got shot. And his, his uh, right foot toes were amputated and, and his left foot was uh, very damaged and he has holes here and, you know, it's healed up, but the circulation, the blood circulation now with--he, he has so much trouble with the circulation he went through surgery in Ann Arbor. Last year, he had uh, a bypass in his legs. The arteries were turned around and the other leg he had surgery here in Providence Hospital and then in Ann Arbor again. He has so much trouble with his circulation. Right now, he has an infection in his right leg which uh, it's a sore and it's not healing, so he is on Keflex 500 mg four times a day for three weeks already. So, there was so much going on during these years and they have seen ambulances here many, many times and paramedics and not once were they calling or say can I do something for you. Can I help you with something. Never. I have never--I lived with Gentile people in the United States in a four-family uh, house and I was the only Jewish neighbor. And with three families, Gentiles. We were like sisters. I lived uh, when we came to Detroit uh, an apartment on Gladstone, I had Gentile neighbors. We were friends! And here, this is our first little house--we never had a little house, never, nothing, we lived in apartments. This is our first little house so I have to have a neighbor--God bless them, I don't wish them anything bad, but, I mean, it's--not that I can associate with. That words like this could come out from her mouth, from a normal person, it's just unbelievable. So, I heard from other neighbors who were here before we came they said don't--let this not bother you because we all know how she is. They are people nobody can--he's a nice man, he's a nice man, but it's her and because of her they can't have any, any, any associates, any people who associate with. So, this is what I heard from her and that's from this day on. That's it. I have no business. It's just a shame, a shame because my children and her children are almost the same ages. And I'm sure they would be friends and like they started to be friends, but since this happened and they heard how she belittled me and how she put me down um, even this neighbor who called in now, she, she is such a lovely lady. She was here four years before I came and she is not talking to her, either. So, she met--tried to make me feel good. When this happened, she said, "Look, you are not the only one she opened up her mouth. Just let this not bother you. Please ignore it and that's all." But, it's not pleasant. It's summertime. We are in the backyard and we are in the front yard and we are going out and in of the cars and not to say hello to a neighbor--we are not used to this because I love people and I can get along with anybody. And here, unfortunately, for no reason to, to put somebody down like this and, and this, this was terrible, terrible. So, we have no business, that's all.

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