Interview granted in 2019
Ivo Herzog is an engineer and one of the founders of the Vladimir Herzog Institute. He was born in London on August 31, 1966, he is the son of Vladimir and Clarice Herzog. Ivo tells us how his childhood, until then similar to that of any child, changed in a few days, from his father’s funeral to the ecumenical cult celebrated in his memory.
So, it’s like I say, until October 25th, I was an ordinary child, I was a child like any other, I didn’t know what was going on in the world, my parents had a job and so on. I was 9 years old, my brother was 7.
On October 26th, my mother tells us that my father died. She said that she told us some random story that I can’t remember, that it was an accident, I can’t remember that. I never saw my father dead, not even according to the Jewish tradition. I begin to realize that something was not right on the 27th, the day of the funeral, at the wake, because there was an enormous harassment, not only the family was there, but the family and 1000 other people, the television network, whatever and such.
So I think that much of this somatization disorder I had has to do with what happened from October 27th to 31st, you know? In which a 9-year-old boy, in a very short period, received an immeasurable stream of facts, of information. “My father died, all this is happening, they try to bury my father in a hurry, my mother screaming out loud did not allow it, her desperation, the other people, Praça da Sé, then my neurons melted away. And I had an illusion, which lasted for many years, that my father had not died, that he had disappeared, that one day he would return. I had no material evidence to think otherwise.
And not only that, after my father’s death, my mother started a shielding process, you know? So the Herzog case was there, she didn’t want us to have contact with the shocking images, we never had. More shocking images appeared for the first time in Veja magazine, my father’s face is on the cover. The Veracruz School allowed open recess, outside, there was a newsstand, a bakery, etc., and she told me “that magazine will be there, your father will be there, and I don’t want you to see it”. I haven’t seen that magazine until today, and the Institute itself doesn’t have any photos of my dead father.