Survivor Interview

            For this project I found the survivor interview of Max R. Garcia. He was born to working class conditions in 1924 in Amsterdam, Holland. He describes the fact that even though his family was Jewish, religion did not play a major role in their lives. They did not go to synagogue regularly. As a child in Amsterdam, Garcia describes that anti-Semitism was present. He describes life under Nazi occupation very vividly. Max Garcia was I think it is interesting that Garcia did not feel threatened by the Nazi’s until 2 years after the occupation of Holland began. In 1942 when the Jews had to be registered and he had to wear a yellow star as an 18 year old, he understood what was happening.  He was eventually taken to Auschwitz. He description of his time in the camp is nothing short of breathtaking. 

            There are many differences between the story of Max Garcia and Agate Nesaule. The main differencing being that their stories took place in different locations. Agate under soviet rule in Germany and Max under Nazi rule in Auschwitz, Poland. Also age is a major difference between the two. Max Garcia was much older than Agate Nesaule which gave him a very different perspective. While their perspectives were very different, I thought it was very interesting that both, Garcia and Nesuale mention a sense of non-feeling. At times they both cannot fully comprehend the horror that went on around them. Another similarity that is interesting to note is how their stories remained such an important part of their lives. Max mentions how he looks at his tattoo from Auschwitz every single day to remember what he has been through.

 

the interview of Max R. Garcia can be found here: http://tellingstories.org/holocaust/mgarcia/index.html

 

 

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4 Responses to “Survivor Interview”

  1. Jenny Lang Says:

    In her book, Nesaule talked about her life after escaping the war and coming to the U.S. did Garcia ever talked about the life in U.S.?

  2. bcostach Says:

    I really like how you added so much background of the survivor in your comparison which is something that I hadn’t thought to do in mine. I also like how you added the link in your post as well. I noticed that location played a main role in the experience as well and mentioned it in my comparison too.

  3. andrewdenn Says:

    There is a lot here that you’ve done a good job of considering and condensing. I found the last few sentences to be the most insightful, especially with the notice of this sense of nihilism and lack of emotion. You mention a lot of the similarities that are present between the two, as well as differences. In my post I also mentioned how there were several differences due to physical location of the two authors of the memoirs, but I didn’t really focus on age as much, as you mentioned. It would have been interesting if you went into more detail about how the age differences influenced the different experiences.
    Thanks for the post!

  4. sstern Says:

    It’s nice to read the details here of the background stories and I am curious to find his account of being in Auschwitz, I’m sure I would agree with you about it. My survivor was much older than Agate as well, however it’s still so interesting to read about the differences as there can also be many similarities present, such as, as you say, both being aware of the horror that surrounded them- something many could agree upon.