Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zyta Eliahu - February 3, 2008

Leaving for England

So, my mother said, "Look, we're going to go to Palestine and it's part of the--Britain--it's a British mandate--and then we'll take you from England. We'll call you, bring you over from England and that'll be that." Because we didn't know there was going to be a war yet. So, eventually I agreed to go to England and I was getting ready to go and I had already sort made up my mind, "Okay, I am going to England, they're going there and then I'll join them in Palestine." So, my father was arrested and this was about maybe a week before I left and my mother didn't know what to do--if to send me or not to send me. And here was an eight-year-old child and she said--asked me--she said, "Do you want to go or do you want to stay? Because your father is in prison by the Gestapo." I said, "I think I will go. I'm going." You know, I sort of real...it was already part of war. I had to go. They had so much wanted me to go so I was going. Anyway, what happened was that I think a day before I left or the day I left my father went to the officer and said, "Look, my only daughter is leaving today and I want to go and say goodbye to her." So, so my father told me--he said, "The officer looked at me and said, 'Get out.'" And so my father was free. So, maybe in a way it was good that I said I'm going because there was an excuse for him to get out. And um, and he came and both my parents saw me off at the station. So, that was the only time I sort of felt the Nazis, you see, because mostly we just saw the soldiers.

Must have been still very hard to say goodbye.

To say goodbye? Yes, it was hard, especially for my mother. All the parents were there with their children and getting on the train and I was getting on the train too. And I remember as the train was moving I was waving to my parents and my mother covered her eyes with her hand and we left. I don't remember very much of the journey. The only thing I remember was we reached the port in Holland and we got on a boat and it was, I think, evening and we were provided with white bread--white English bread and some fruit and I remember writing to my parents, you know, "When we got on the boat we were given challa to eat." Because in Europe everybody ate black bread at that time, I mean, you know, brown bread. We didn't know anything about white bread.

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