Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Henry Dorfman - August 11 & 25, 1989

Memories of Holocaust

Let, let me ask you a couple more questions. One, one um, are, are there any times that touch off memories about your past, the war years in particular, more than others? I mean, when you, when you daven, for example, you said you remembered sometimes the...


Um, holidays uh, the various occasions.

Let me, let me, let, let, let me just tell you one thing. There's no way in the world, there's no way that we will ever, that we can ever a minute forget about it. I sometimes lay in bed, and I think about it. But I'm thinking about it, I says, I don't know, because I believe in what's happening to my daughter with the child, you know, and with the little boy got sick. I says, "My God, didn't I pay enough?" And then you went back, and I says, "My God, I remember." I went, I say, one time I almost, like I say, when I threw five grenades, I didn't have any more left. And the AK was so close to me and they were so desperate to get me. Really. And I survived that. And here everything's like this. I says, and here's a, a beautiful little boy dying and I can't do nothing about it. There I could. I, I grabbed my grenade and throw it because I could whatever. What can I do. I mean--and there when you get into those kinds of things, you understand. And there--but that remembrance, it's every minute of it. It's every minute of it. I was standing there looking.

What is this picture?

This is...

That's the crematorium.

Yes, the whole layout of the camp. It's just, it just, here, I mean, camps. How, how can you forget it? That's why I'm glad I went. I did not have before, I didn't make pictures because we didn't have cameras, we didn't have money to do it, we didn't have anything. And that's why I needed those cameras. I am going, I am going to go back once more. There's no doubt about it because I feel that, uh. Do you know what that monument, what that means? Czerniakow do you know what this monument means? This guy hanged himself. And he didn't want to perform what the Germans did, what they want him to do. They wanted him to...

They wanted him to send the children.

Send the children. I mean, I remember him like today from the underground when I was hidden.

You remember Czerniakow?

Absolutely. From 1942, '43, '41. No was it in '41--'42.



How did you know Czerniakow?

I didn't know him personally.

You'd heard about him?

But I knew the name and I read about him. There was--it was all over, I mean, you know. See I was getting papers from, from, from England. I wish I would have it, I don't have it because why. You didn't want to have when you were, when, when, when I was thinking about escape, you understand, or whatever. In the army you didn't have it, where could you have it? My father, I don't know. Because you were always on the move, you understand. You, you, you didn't carry nothing. We didn't have anything. What did you mean a book? I mean, whatever, you didn't have anything. So this was, this was the, uh. So uh, when you look at this, I mean, how can you, how can you, how can you forget? This is Treblinka to look before you walk in. This monument. I couldn't get away without making those. This is Treblinka. So it was things that is uh, really hard. Hard to digest, hard to believe, I mean, uh.

You haven't talked about this before though, have you?

With who?

Well, just sat down and given, given your story before.


I know it was, for years I've been asking you to do this.

No, no.

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