Transcript of UCSB Interview 2; Thursday, February 13,
Interviewer: Jeremy Garsha
Interviewee: Annie Quetin [UCSB Freshman in HM’s GE1ew class]
Prepared by Jeremy Garsha [2/14/03]
Revised by Jeremy Garsha [3/12/03]
Jeremy: Can you give me
a little background about yourself, what’s your major?
J: Biology major. What
types of history have you studied, hitherto now?
A: Basic high school U.S. history, and World History when we were sophomores. That kind of stuff.
J: Where did you go to
A: Notre Dame High School in Salinas.
J: Can you tell me
anything about the high school? Was it big, public?
A: It was a small, private catholic all-girls school.
J: You’ve heard a
A: That was at a public Junior High…It was a guy that just lives in my town.
J: Was it put on by the
school, or did he just.. [Interviewer
is answered by nods of yes] This was in eighth grade right? So he came
to your middle school and just talked to everybody? Do you remember anything
about him, any details?
A: His name was Harold Gordon, he talked…[She remembers his name]…what I remember the most is he would show us his number…and that was like weird…I was like “they put numbers on you.” [The number indicates that H. Gordon was in Auschwitz] He talked about his book…I forget what it was called, it had something with ‘sun’ in the title. The part that sticks out the most is when he talked about how he stayed alive. He talked about when he was in line with his dad, walking into the gas chamber, and they have like this archway, and he said he was about 15 people from it when someone hooked him around the neck and pulled him out of line because they figured he was strong enough to work. And he grabbed his dad, so dad lived too.
J: So the dad also
survived, did the dad come in and talk?
A: No, he’s dead.
J: Right…So you still
remember that even now, did you know this guy before the talk?
A: No, I actually met him after the talk because I made some friends in his neighborhood. So I knew him more after the talk, but it was the first time that I knew he existed .
J: Have you been to the
L.A. Museum of Tolerance, or any Holocaust related museum?
A: I went to the one in Washington D.C. That was also in eighth grade.
J: Was it a class trip
that you took?
A: Mmm Hmm.
J: What do you
remember…did you hear a talk while you were there by any sort of speaker.
A: No. I remember the shoes. That was the weirdest thing for me. I’m walking around….we were walking behind somebody, I survivor I think, because they were just baling and all upset and everything and that was kind of like “okay…” [May not have been a survivor, but rather someone deeply affected by the sights] I think it was weird at that age, I think it was good at that age because when your so distanced from everything in the world, you know its real but it doesn’t occur to you to care. [Anne mentions something on social behaviors but its garbled. This is good stuff on age]
J: When was the first
time you heard anything about the Holocaust?
A: I don’t know.
J: You guys took this
trip in eighth grade. What kind of background did they give you
before the school when on it?
J: Did you talk about
the Holocaust at all?
A: I don’t recall.
J: Was the trip more to Washington
A: Mmm hmm, it was just a Washington D.C. trip.
J: So they didn’t really
say anything about the Holocaust before than, huh?
A: [shakes head in agreement]
J: When you were in high
school did you read any Holocaust related literature?
J: Do you remember what
A: Not specifically.
J: Maybe Night, Elie
Weisles’ Night, or Anne Frank’s Diary?
A: Well, I read that, that’s pretty standard. I did a report on Auschwitz when I was a sophomore…so I was kind of aware about it. And I read Number of the Stars when I was little. I think that was when I first learned about it.
J: How old were you when
you read that?
A: Probably third or fourth grade.
J: Have you seen any
Holocaust related TV shows?
A: Yeah, I don’t know any specifics, but yeah.
J: Documentaries, or
made for TV dramas?
A: More documentary stuff. My dad watches a lot of stuff like that, just on anything.
J: What about Holocaust
or World War II related movies?
A: I saw, this sounds creepy, my parents took me to see Schindler’s List when it came out. [What does this say about the parents?]
J: How old were you?
A: I was pretty young.
J: You ever see Life
J: So basically just Schindler’s
J: And what were your
reactions to that? You were pretty young when you saw it…
A: I don’t really remember having any reactions, I think I feel asleep through part of it. [Shows she was too young] My parents were pretty open with me about…that it happened and stuff.
J: Did your parents tell
you anything about it when they took you to it?
A: I’m pretty sure they did. They tried to prepare us for that kind of stuff, but I don’t think I really cared, cuz I was just like whatever, I’m just going to go to a movie.
J: Have you heard any
other speakers, other than Harold Gordon…that you can recall?
A: I remember hearing someone in San Francisco, but I don’t…I think we were just walking by…He talked about how people that were really hopeful and loved people died first. And that was really weird, cuz everyone who chooses to be nice had no point, he’s like “the people who hated the Nazis survived the longest” and your just like ‘you hateful person’ it’s kind of like, ‘okay…’ your different than your kind of clique. It was kind of interesting.
J: On that note, is
there any real details that stick out, either of hope or horror, from either of
those speakers? You mentioned the number…anything still with you now?
A: That guy that hated people did, because it seems like everyone talks about how hopeful you were to survive and all that stuff, and he’s like “No! You hated them so you wanted to spite them.”
J: Where was this
speaker, was that just in passing, or on a street corner?
A: I don’t remember.
J: Okay, that’s fine.
As you’re studying the Holocaust more, say in Harold Marcuse’s class, do these
passed experiences with speakers help shed light on anything?
J: Like as you come
across anything different things, like let’s say you are reading and you come
across something on Auschwitz, do you think back and remember the guy the
number on his arm?
A: Yeah. It helps make it more tangible. Especially like in the class we’re in right now, the seminar, you go through things so quickly that it’s nice to have kind of this different background on it. I mean you are still learning more in the class, but…I think if I didn’t know much about it before, it would just become a…big blank…[Shows background is important]
J: What made you want to
take this GE class?
A: um…I find it interesting. I think it’s interesting. What I find so interesting is how easily you can take a group of people and tell them what to believe…It’s interesting to me, and kind of makes me think of the whole “if you don’t know about history than it’s bound to repeat itself.” That kind of thing. Because I see some much ignorance in people, it’s good not to just bypass this little section [of history] because it’s pretty
As you are studying the Holocaust through reading, like secondary sources
or even primary written diaries and stuff, how do you think that compares
to the oral narrative that you heard from these other speakers?
A: I think it’s…generally more powerful, like Harold Gordon was a good public speaker. It’s different when it’s coming out of someone’s mouth, and you have to look at them and know they went through it. It’s not just a distancing…like reading a book, which are powerful on their own, but when you have to see someone it’s I think more striking. [Jeremy's analysis]
J: You guys are
hopefully going to see Nina on Tuesday, do you have any sort of expectations
J: Do you have any
questions you want to ask her?
A: No, because I don’t really know much about her. [This shows that some background before hearing speakers can be very good- which the students got before Nina finally came]
J: Has Harold said
anything to you guys, Harold Marcuse?
A: I didn’t even know his first name was Harold…Um, no, not really. Nothing that I can recall.
J: Is there anything
else you wanted to mention, related to the Holocaust, or…can you give me a
little bit more about your educational experience?
J: When you were in
these freshmen and sophomore history classes, you wrote a report on Auschwitz,
was that for your history class?
A: No, it was actually for my English class. We had to pick a time or a place, and…
J: What made you choose Auschwitz?
A: I don’t know. That was a really disturbing project however. I’m not really sure.
J: When dove into that
project, were you expecting what you uncovered?
A: Yeah, I think at the time I didn’t realize a lot of the gruesome sides of it; you have to read and see all these pictures… I had to walk away from the report a couple of times because I…couldn’t read this anymore. I remember seeing of picture of this guy with his spine showing from the front, and I was like “oh, he’s alive! That’s so disgusting.” I actually don’t know why I chose it…but I did. My mom had talked a little about it, because my mom had lived in Germany in the early 50s, 1950s, and she talked a little bit about how it still affected the towns and stuff. But that was pretty much it. [Interviewer should have asked questions about why the mother was in Germany, and if the family had family roots in Germany circa WWII]