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Kelly Atkinson

30 September 2015
Wertz-Orbaugh
UWRT 1102
WID: Wednesday 9/9
After watching Reva Kiborts testimony I gained a better perspective
for how people could have survived in the Holocaust. The majority of the
testimonies I have watched have been of male survivors. Reva Kibort
showed her pain and emotion in her voice and in her facial expressions, but
the way she spoke was very straight forward and direct. She told the stories
as they were and provided a lot of heavy information and almost an inside
scoop if this term is appropriate for the subject. Revas story resonated with
me because she was so young when she was living such a difficult life in
concentration camps.
The youth of a child is the most important and developmental time for
their mental and physical well being. It is unimaginable the traumatizing
events she experienced and witnessed as a young child. As a parent, one
protects their child from fear and shelters them until they are old enough to
understand different situations in life. Revas mother could not help her
children and this is a parents worst fear to be incapable of supporting their
children. Towards the end of her mothers life, she did not have much to say
to Reva about handling her hunger in the concentration camps. She told
Reva go out and play, sing a song and you will forget about your hunger. I

cannot relate to this because I have always had a meal on the table provided
by my parents. As a child, with less knowledge of other issues, hunger would
have been one of Revas main issues. She describes in her testimony how
she can remember the pain felt from hunger and how it never went away.
Belongings such as clothes and toys are also very important to a child
and also their development. Reva had a pair of shoes that were made by her
father, she kept them with her the first two years of the Warsaw ghetto until
she outgrew them. Her father ended up being killed and her shoes
represented their relationship and also her life at home. Revas tone was
bittersweet when she described her little shoes and how she loved them.
Losing a parent would be more than difficult, especially at a young age, but
once she lost the shoes she had nothing but her memories of her father. She
did have a very vivid collection of memories of her life before the Holocaust.
Being from Jewish descendant, Reva had celebrated certain holidays
and still celebrates them with her children today in her old age. It helps her
not forget the good side of her past. Her memories with the holiday
Passover include, Matza, a clean house, white tablecloth, and a warm aroma
throughout the house. Her family was very poor but she described their
happiness and close relationships. In the beginning of her youth, Reva did
not have a close bond like some of her siblings because she was the only one
who did not attend school. Although they had a closer relationship, once the
children were prisoners of concentration camps they all looked out for Reva.
Her sisters would sneak into town and pretend they were German girls and

collect food to bring back for the family. They always made sure Reva was
fed and taken care of first before any of the other children. One of the most
heartbreaking experiences Reva describes is when her name was called to
be transferred to another camp and her sister, without hesitation, stepped
forward in replacement of Reva. Her sister knew she would be killed upon
arrival and did not want Reva to experience this. Her family stuck together
as best as they could in horrifying conditions.
Throughout my learning of the Holocaust I have realized a lot of
families started to turn on each other because their instinct to survive was
greater than the love of the family. Revas family had a proven unbreakable
bond that not everyone has. They were not an orthodox family in their
religious practices but she believed their faith is what held them together. I
really enjoyed watching Revas testimony because it gave me a different
perspective of life in the Holocaust. As a child, and even my current age, I
cannot imagine fighting for my life and having such survival instincts that
Reva had. She pushed forward and her mindset of I will survive kept her
alive during the Holocaust. Her testimony was very detailed and heartfelt
and I enjoyed listening to her speak about her past.