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Why I hid Holocaust Pain

Discussion in 'Concentration, Death Camps and Crimes Against Huma' started by GRW, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "Iby Knill, 90, has recorded two conversations for the BBC Radio 4 series. One is with her friend, Carolyn Berry, to whom she broke her silence 30 years ago and another with her granddaughter Julia Kinch.

    She met Carolyn when they made tea in a church hall together. She told her how she was born in Czechoslovakia in 1923 into a Jewish family and escaped to Hungary to join the Resistance but was taken to Auschwitz when she was 20.

    Iby survived Auschwitz, went back to Bratislava and met her husband Bert, a British Army officer. They moved to Britain and had two children.

    Perhaps I survived to keep the memory alive to bear witness, to talk to you, hoping you will listen
    Iby Knill
    It took decades before she revealed to her ­children her past in the camp.

    “I couldn’t possibly talk to my children about it because it is a burden on the second generation,” Iby said to Carolyn. “I was sheltering [them].”

    “If you keep that in the forefront of you all the time it just eats away at you. There was a cost mentally: the amount of sleeping tablets I had to take and the nervous breakdowns I had but at that time I had buried it.

    “I don’t know whether you bring corpses back to life. Some of the ghosts come up whether you like it or not and that is the price you have to pay for it. I didn’t feel that it was necessary to remember.” Once she had told Carolyn she decided to speak to schoolchildren and write her autobiography with her friend’s help.

    In the short programme there is also a conversation between Iby and her granddaughter Julia in which she admits she hoped to forget that period of time.

    “It was part of a life I did not really want to remember,” she said. “I didn’t want to talk about it because talking about it brings it back and it is painful.

    “To me the many years that I spent in England when I brought up the children were much more important than the three or four years in my life which were a living hell.”"

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