Segment 3

Annotation

They decided to leave Czechoslovakia. They left through Austria and ended up in the United States. Aigner makes a note that it is not easy to talk about the Holocaust. In the mid 1980s the Holocaust denial movement was gaining notice in the media. It was then and there that Aigner decided that her and her husband could not keep quiet about what they experienced. They joined a Holocaust speaking group in Portland, Oregon. Ever since they have spoken to church groups and school groups trying to spread the message of love. They have incredibly high praise for the US Army and the part they played in liberating Europe.Aigner has high praise for The National WWII Museum [Annotators Note: The National WWII Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana]. As a child growing up in the ghetto Aigner did not have any of her possessions or belongings. They slept like herring on the floor. Aigner recalls being hungry all of the time. They constantly scavenged for food. She remembers finding a piece of moldy bread in a cabinet and they treated it like a piece of candy they were so hungry. Aigner recalls missing out on her spot in the food line because she was so small. Some days she had to wait an extra day for food. When the bombing raids occured over the city everyone ran downstairs. Aigner vividly recalls how the basement in the bomb shelter was filled with rats. There was no electricity. She cannot stand seeing rats to this day. Aigner had long braided hair but because they could not wash their hair they had lice. Later people even had lice in their clothing. Aigner learned from history that they had it better than the people in the camps. The Russians were not able to help right away but they did tell people that they needed to leave. Some of the Russian soldiers were raping the younger girls, Aigner's mother made her kids look like Gypsies so that the Russian soldiers did not rape them. Aigner asked the Russian soldiers in Russian if they could spare some bread. A lot of the soldiers did in fact give her bread. A memorial on the Danube was erected in 2004. Aigner has been back to see the memorial. The first time she saw the memorial it was difficult to realize the enormity of the situation. The monument pays homage to the last thing the Jews most likely heard before they were shot which was the request that they remove their shoes. Aigner and her husband have been trying to get a monument together in Portland, Oregon. Aigner does not want people to forget about the 11million killed Jews. Finally in August of 2004 the memorial was dedicated.

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