Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eva Ackermann - December 6, 1982

Life Before the War

Um, what do you remember of your life um, in Budapest before the war?

Well uh, as a whole? In my family life or the...

Your family life.

...life in general?

You and your family, where did you go to school? Was it public school?

I went to public school and I mentioned my parents did get divorced and that had--needless to say, had an effect on uh, my childhood.

How old were you?

I was about seven. And my mom raised me and it was not easy. And uh, as children go, I didn't realize too much except that uh, I was just a bit torn between uh, the parents and just that I wanted them to get back. And uh, but I grew up uh, anyway. Not--and, uh...

When you went to school, did you also go to Hebrew school? Was it separate school?

Well it wasn't, it wasn't like here at all. It was one hour taken out uh, uh, two hours a week. Everybody went to their respective--of their uh, religious uh, Catholics went to the Catholic hour and a, Jews went to their Hebrew hour. It was an hour.

It was in the school?

It was in the school and it was uh, anywhere, it was between eight and four, the way we went to school. Maybe from ten to eleven, instead of having history, we had uh, religion and then everybody was channeled into their uh, classes.

And so did a Rabbi come and give you instruction?

No it wasn't a Rabbi. It was a teacher.

Do you remember the teacher?

Not at all. Huh-uh. I remember uh, I remember learning the services, all the songs and then we went to a very prominent uh, synagogue on Friday night and we did sing, uh. I don't remember--I suppose I had a better than average voice. I don't remember if everybody went. I think it was uh and we did sing, it was a very, very beautiful uh, synagogue.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn