Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Albert Fein - February 19, 2005


It's a busy day.

So, you know, uh, my mother, she came--she was born in Austria, in Vienna. My father was born in a small town in Zhendovitse, okay? His father was, I don't know, he says he was a rabbi. He was a rabbi or he was not a rabbi, I don't know. He passed, passed away in 1914, because my uncle--the second uncle who used to live here, he was born after my grandfather passed away. This happened with him, he had appendix. In a small town, there was not a thing, so they took him on a wagon with horse and drove him to ??? Before they get to ??? he passed away. It opened, you know, he got infected. So, that's how the thing was. I don't know what he was really. I know he was teaching a cheder in this little town.

That marriage must have been unusual, a Viennese woman and a small-town Polish Orthodox Jew.

Yes, only, you know, my mom always was singing, Die Liebe, die Liebe ist eine himmlische Macht. That's why we learned German and this is--I understand. They fall in love and, you know...

And what did he do? What did your father do?

My father was, for profession, he was a baker.


The problem was he didn't have citizenship and they didn't allow him to open his own bakery. So he was working and not working--he was more not working than working. My mom, she was tutoring German and uh, English and French language. She was always, you know, from Austria, and here--they are both in Czechoslovakia, didn't have citizenship, and they have a problem, you know? Only they struggle and brought us up.

Well, they sent you to private school. That was...

Yeah, no, you know, they teach privately, that's all. My father was doing whatever he could do--what he could get, and my mother was tutoring and running a household.

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