Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Cohen - April 18, 1982

Attitudes Toward Germans

Well, it was a different person at that time.

Well, that's what I'm saying. Uh, I don't avoid--this is funny--sometimes I wonder why. I don't avoid watching something that is very painful on TV.

You can watch the movies about the Holocaust.

I'm very hurt, I live it...


...again. Uh, I read a lot of books and it eats me up. But I do it and I subconsciously I think I know why. I want to remind myself that it really happened. I don't really want to forget.

It's so hard to believe that you really experienced those things.

I don't--well, I did, I did and a lot more. Uh. Uh. So, so I don't know. When I went to Dr. Krystal one time--the German government sent me. Uh, they asked me to come back a few years ago--a couple years ago. They wanted to see how I'm doing. I says, "In a half hour," or whatever time they allow you--a half hour--"You want me to tell you my whole life story?"


I was very bitter. I says, "I'm not--not your--does that German government expect me in a half hour to relate to them a whole life? Who are they? What they're offering to give me or what they're giving me isn't theirs. It's been mine. They took it from me and mine--they took it from all of us. They took our lives, they took our property, they took everything. What the German government gives, that little bit..."

Could never replace.

It doesn't even pay for one day's of suffering. The idea was--and I think we Jews are very stupid--we should have taken everything from there when, when the chances were right. Who were supposed to stop us? We should have taken something. Not being--we have to go to them and give--cry our hearts out, give our past on paper for them to believe us that what they did to us? Or would they like to wipe that out? There is no good German and there's no good Nazi. I don't care how--I worked with this uh, Mrs. Schwab--she's dead I think. She would be so respectful--Jewish woman--to the Germans, to, to--with her uh, sincerity in the letter. So I said to her, "Mrs. Schwab, you're born in Munich, you're Jewish, you came out in 1938 or '39. You have no idea. You speak in your letter to Germans of your time. Here you're writing this information about my suffering that they did to me and I have to prove to them that I was there. That I suffered. And I have to go through my whole..." I said, "For what? For a hundred dollars?" It bothers me that all of us took it. But it would bother me more if we wouldn't have given the history. See, it's not the money.

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