Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zyta Eliahu - February 3, 2008

Reuniting with Parents II

And when you met your, when you met your mother again?

Yes, when I met my mother and father and little brother and arrived by boat and they came to meet me at the port, it came, you know, here you want to be happy and all that but there's a lot of strangeness as well because meeting after eight years--after growing up without my parents for eight years and having been brought up by a very kind English family who were--who gave me discipline--in a very gentle way but they gave me discipline--and here I was meeting my parents. And I had, I had memories but, you know, I couldn't remember my emotional feelings anymore--how I felt at the age of eight.

When you left.

When I left. I could remember things--I can remember a lot of things from my childhood in Czechoslovakia but I can't remember any more the feelings. There's very few feelings that I can remember. All I, all I know is I was very broken up when I came to England and I was crying for my parents for months, so I can remember, I can remember a little bit of what I was missing and what I was longing for then. But when I came here at the age of sixteen and met my parents, it was really strange. It was a lot of strangeness and a lot of Kinder have told me the same thing. The bonding took a long, long time because I was different and, and they had also changed. They had gone through a very difficult time. It wasn't anymore the, the nice life we had together in Czechoslovakia as a family looking forward to so many things. They had gone through a very difficult time and I had gone through growing up in England and I liked England very much and I liked my life there and I wanted my parents to come and join me in England and my father would--agreed by my mother said she had had enough of wandering around and she wants to be here and she wants to be near her brothers and sisters. So, um, yes, the bonding took a long time. I think I only really bonded with them--I arrived at the age of sixteen--maybe took about twenty years to really bond with them, I mean really. No, you know, everything was okay and you're a family and we did things and all that but to really bond--it was also a different kind of bonding because by this time I was bonding with elderly parents and I found that more easy. See, when I arrived he...in here my parents were in their late thirties or the beginning of their forties so they were still young parents then and I really only bon...bonded them when they became elderly and I was the grown up daughter and I had to sort of look after them a little bit but they were very independent all the time. And that's when I really bonded and I think that was maybe when they also bonded with me more.

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