Dientje Kalisky, Part 1 | S.C. Voices: Lessons from the Holocaust
Dientje Kalisky was born in Holland in 1938. Her grandfather and aunt were sent to a concentration camp and never returned. "When I was four we went into hiding. My parents didn't explain what was happening, and it was very confusing." The family moved from one hiding place to another, always fearing sirens and paddy wagons. They hid at a nun's house from 1943-45 in the attic. Dientje had only a blanket and pillow and a little doll. The family rarely left the attic. During this time a man there sexually assaulted her and hit her with the butt of a rifle. In addition, the nun beat her and didn't feed her always. "She [the nun] told me my parents had passed away. My doll was everything to me; she threw my doll away. After the war I had nightmares and flashbacks and never talked of the war." Later Dientje was hospitalized with a nervous breakdown. To this day she still suffers from claustrophobia brought on by being confined in the attic. "You'd never know how hungry I was. Many don't believe the Holocaust happened: the gassing, the murder. I was there and it was real."