Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zyta Eliahu - February 3, 2008

Parent's Experience

And they were still in Bratislava in 1940.

Yes, they left Bratislava--I think they arrived in Palestine towards the end of 1940 so the war was already well on. But uh, and they were interned in Atlit, I don't know, it's a little outside Haifa.

They were interned.

Yes, and I don't think they were able to meet their brothers and sisters here. And for some reason the British decided that they--there were three boats that arrived and the British decided that they were not going to stay here. It was part of their policy with the Arabs and my paper was--had already been cleared so the people from these three boats were put on another boat and taken to Mauritius, which was part of the British Empire. It's in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar. When I say near Madagascar, it's about five hundred miles distance but it's the only way I can pinpoint it. And they stayed there until the end of the war. Now, my fa...in '44 my father joined the Czech army. My parents were Czech citizens and my father joined the Czech army there in Mauritius and it became--it was a unit--it was part of the British Army--it was a unit of the British Army and he came to England in '44 and I met him in England. And my brother was born also in '44.


No, he was born in Mauritius.

Mauritius, Mauritius.

Yes, yes. So, I met my father in England, he was there for a few months and then his unit was sent to Europe. I guess it would be '45. It was a few months before the war ended he was sent to Europe. And when, when the--when my parents first arrived in Mauritius there was a large group of Czech people. Along the way they had added people from Danzig, from Poland and in the end they allowed people to come with their children and that upset my mother very much, she said, "Well, why couldn't I have taken my child?" And um, when they were first--when they first arrived in Mauritius there was no family life. The men were separate and the women were separate. It was only after about two years that they allowed people to resume their family life and so the young people finally got married and they had children. Quite a lot of children were born in Mauritius. You're not familiar with it?

Not at all.

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