Eva's Determination to Survive
Oral History Item Type Metadata
There were many instances of extraordinary luck: like meeting Minni; like having been together with my mother; like when I was really desperate and nearly gave up, my father appeared. So those were all instances which did help me; but on the other hand, many people who had perhaps similar things happening didn't survive. So it was a matter of timing, as well. If the war would have lasted another few weeks, or if we wouldn't have been liberated at that point by the Russians, I don't think I would have survived. I was really at the limit of my strengths.
And then, on the other hand, I was young. I was fifteen, and I was a survivor, I was a fighter, I desperately wanted to live. I had never really experienced life -- I was eight when all the trouble started. And my brother and me were -- especially my brother was rather afraid of dying. He was at the time perhaps twelve, and we often -- he told me about it and I talked with my -- we talked with my father about it. And my father said to us at the time, "Even if you should die personally, you don't really die because if you have a family, you live on in your children. And even if you don't have a family, all your action are going to -- nothing is lost. Everything stays in the world." So whatever you have said, whatever you have done, is still around. Somebody has picked up something. So, you are really immortal.
But what stuck in my mind as a young child of ten years old: that if you have children, you will live on in your children. And so I really wanted to survive and have a family and have children. And this was as well one of the reasons why my father didn't mind so much that we were in two different hiding places, because he said even if one of us will be betrayed or won't survive, hopefully the other part of the family will survive. So we had a separate risk. This I did always remember, that I must survive and have a family. But of course, you know, it might have never have happened. But it kept me certainly -- it kept me strong and it kept me going, perhaps more than people who were weaker and gave up at a certain point. I never gave up.