Transcript of Carpinteria High School Post-Interview 2a; Wednesday, June 4, 2003
Interviewer: Jeremy Garsha
Interviewee: GC, Sophomore in Casey Robertsí Modern World History class
Prepared by Jeremy Garsha, 6/10/03
This was an interview conducted with GC after he had heard Ninaís talk on May 30th.
Jeremy: Before Nina came; did Mr. Roberts give any background on her?
GC: Yeah, a little bit.
J: Do you remember what he said?
GC: All that he said was that she survived the Holocaust, and it was in his class that she first talked about it, openly.
J: Did he mention any details about her first talk?
GC: Not really.
J: Not really, thatís okay. So what did you already know about her story then?
GC: About her?
GC: All that I know is that she talked here first, and that she was a Holocaust survivor.
J: Okay. What did you first think, when you first saw her? Based purely off of appearance.
J: Yeah, she is. Letís talk about her actual talk. That was five days ago. What do you still remember from it? What is the first detail of her story?
GC: She talks about it. She wants to tell everyone her story. She wants all the kids and everyone to know what happened.
J: And after Nina came, did you talk to any of your friends or family?
GC: About it?
GC: I talked to some friends.
J: Do you remember what you talked about?
GC: I just said that a Holocaust survivor came to our class.
J: Were they curious to know about that?
GC: I think they had had that happen to them before too. I canít remember when.
J: Were they in Mr. Robertsí class the year before?
GC: They were seniors. There is two of them.
J: You didnít talk to your family about it?
GC: I havenít talked to themÖI think IÖno I havenít talked to my parents about it.
J: Did you have any questions for her while she was telling her story, or afterwards?
GC: No. I was too stunned. I read part of her letter in front of class too.
J: What part of the letter did you read?
GC: When they took away her mom. That part.
J: Yeah, thatís a pretty emotional part.
J: Yeah, she gets pretty sad during that part.
J: Do you remember if anyone asked some questions during your period?
GC: Yeah, one personóthe one she liked the mostóa student asked, "if she could go back and do it again, what would she do differently?"
J: um hmm.
GC: and she said that she would have gone to Russia with that the guy, and with her mom and everything.
J: Okay, what did you think of her answers? Did you think she answered the questions..
GC: She answered them.
J: Could you understand her very well?
GC: I could understand what she meant.
J: But the accent, or her being so quiet, that wasnít a problem?
GC: Not really.
J: What were your overall impressions just of having her come in?
GC: It is something that is going to stay with you for the rest of your life [This is also the same answer GC gave when he talked about the Holocaust Videos]. Something you can use to help other people.
J: Do you think this helped shed some light on what you were covering before?
GC: A little. We read Elie Wieselís book, and this was mostly the same thing, except it is coming from real life, not reading from the book.
J: What did you think of the two stories, herís and Elie Wieselís.
GC: They are kind of the same thing, except you have to read the book. It was coming from her mouth. You know she was there. You are looking at someone who went through that kind of stuff.
J: Do you think it kind of put a personal face on everything?
J: Like now when you read it in a book, or someone mentions the Holocaust..
GC: You can refer it to something, yeah.
J: Do you have any sort of connection with your story and your life?
GC: In my life? I donít think so. I guess my parents. My mom had a hard life, coming to the United States, she had to take care of her brothers. And my dad crossing over here, back in the 70s, itís a hard life [examination of GCís letter to Nina revealed that GCís family are Jehovahís Witnesses. He told Nina about two videos on Jehovahís Witnesses during the Holocaust. "The Purple Triangles," and "Jehovahís Witnesses Stand Firmly Against the Nazi Attack." Perhaps the interviewee did not feel comfortable discussing religion during this interview].
J: What did you think about hearing such an old woman talk?
GC: Itís not the same. Like hearing your mom talk versus hearing your grandmother and grandfatheróhe was like the same age as her (Nina), and he passed away recently, 86 I guess. Itís like a learning experience, because older people have more experience in life.
J: Definitely. Did you kind of think about how your class could be one of the last classes to hear a Holocaust speaker?
GC: I think so.
J: Because they are getting so old.
J: How did it feel to have a live person in the room, versus maybe a video clip of something like that?
GC: It is really good, because you are hearing through their eyes, and it is easier to understand it.
J: Okay. Do you have any questions for me at all?
J: Okay. About the letterís you had to write, was that an assignment?
GC: Well, I guess it was, but he (Mr. Roberts) liked for us to write it to her [GC didnít feel like the letter was an assignment. He wrote it because he didnít want to disappoint Mr. Roberts, and also because he wanted to thank Nina, and this was an excellent forum].
J: Did you write a letter to her?
J: Thatís it [G], thanks a lot.