Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Olga Adler - July 26, 1982


And uh, were you in a ghetto?


Okay, how and when was it formed?

The ghetto?

Yeah, that you were in.

Well, before I was in the, in the ghetto, I have uh, an awful lot to tell you

Please do.

because after about three, three or four years... As I, I met my husband when I was sixteen years old. He was already, I met him already when he was in the Czech army, he was an officer in the Czech army when I was about fourteen years old or so. And he was walking with my French lady professor on the street in the uniform—Czech uniforms are very nice, very beautiful—and I remember my brother came home, he was seven years older than I was. And I asked him that who was that handsome Czech officer who walked with this Mrs. Brody, that was my uh, uh, teacher's name. And he said, you know what, you are a little son of a gun nothing to ask me such questions yet. Because in Europe a big brother is a big brother. A fourteen-year-old girl is not like a fourteen-year-old girl in this country. You have no right to notice any officers or any young men or anybody. It's none of your business. So, he didn't even say nothing to me. I remember. But then once I was walking and we had a kind of a social thing in Europe that we had a beautiful wide boulevard and the girls and their young men got dressed in the evening, come home from the offices and eat a light supper, because we had our main meal at noon.

Lunch, yeah.

That's right. And then everybody went out walking. And then, you started out walking with a, with your girlfriend and then a young man saw you coming and he wanted to take you, then just "Would you like to come with me?" And, and you just walked. And you met everybody and there were benches and you sat down and eat, eat uh, there was sidewalk coffees. So it, and ??? where you used to go in and pastries. But that was already in the Hungarian era, as I say that it was uh, calmed down. And then they just left us alone for there were a lot, always some incidents, but we just tried... Young people are always, we let our parents worry about our future and our things and we just went out and we did our, our business. But later on, things became a little bit, very sticky. So, my mother and father sat down and said that this is going to be, not going to be good. We can't let my... those girls walk outside on the street. European girls did not work in stores or whatever. You went to school, you went to university, you studied. After that you, you did whatever you wanted to do. But there was no such a thing as summer job or jobs for girls or my daughter should go and work for somebody. There was no such a thing, you know. So, we were free constantly. You couldn't... So, it's not going to be good. So, my mother said to my father that I was always talented with my hands. I was always drawing or painting. As a matter of fact, I'm painting now, all these oil paints I do...


And uh, designing dresses and things like that. So, my mother said it would be a good idea to send her up to Budapest, which is a big city. She has no Semitic features. She can get lost, rather, there. And on the other hand, she can learn something too, because we never know what the future will bring. Maybe it will be handy for her to know something. So, they decided that I'm going to go up to Budapest and they are going to send me to learn to design dresses. So, they found a very beautiful place. The, the name was Nagoly, I know, and uh, they sent me up there. But already things were very bad because I remember in Slovakia, which was just a few miles from us, we heard some rumors that they are taking girls to the front to be prostitutes. And we had fam... family there too. And, but we just couldn't believe it. It, it's just unbelievable, we couldn't believe. We heard this and we couldn't believe it. So, but my mother said that there is always a possibility that, that really something is happening there. That time already they called the boys into forced labor camps, you know, under Hungarian. My husband was... At that time he wasn't my husband, he was just...

He was an officer in the army didn't you say?

In the Czech army, but that was when I was younger. He already served his two years.


And he was home and he became a lawyer. He was a, a laws... lawyer at home already. He was a lawyer, that time already, five years older than I am. He was that time already. Anyways uh, my brother was called in the, in the forced labor camp. And uh, my mother was very much afraid for, for us girls. And so they sent me up to Budapest.

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