Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Charlotte Firestone - March 11, 1982

Having Children

You had children in Europe still?

Yeah. All three of them.

Did you and your husband talk about that right away?

I never wanted to talk about it.

But you...

I never talked about it with children either.

No, I mean did you decide together that you wanted to have children right away?

I didn't want any. I didn't want it. I was so much against it. Now thank God, I am so happy I have them.

But he wanted children?

I--he wanted, he wanted in the worst way. We were in the worst I was just talking all the time, "My mother was going to come home with--you'll see, she'll come back."

When you had Eva, did that make you feel better?

When I had Eva she was like. She was you know, so happy. The whole family lived by me. I had a beautiful, big apartment. His sister, my sister. My babies put that ??? but like an angel. She was a spoiled brat. God forbid, I just wanted to say aloud ??? they wouldn't let me. She was so precious, you know? She was surrounded with warm people and she was a very--the day you see her, she was skin and bones. She just didn't want to eat. She could go days without food. And they finally I got an appointment to Professor Epstein. He was during the war in, in England. He was a Czech and during the war he went to England. And then after the war he came back. We waited six months an appointment--for an appointment to get to him. But we were financially very well off and Eva was so pale. So I, I got an appointment and I went. And he said--he examined her. Everyday I went there to him. And a week later he said, "she's such a healthy, strong child. You came home from concentration camp and you are hungry and you just wanna push and push and push. That child cannot any food." I says, to tell him that I came in with the soup she was vomiting already before I gave her the soup. And he said, "you just took the food from her. You just wanted to push and push and push. That child can't even look at food." What should I do? He said, "In the morning you give her the food to the table. If she eats good, if not, throw it to the sink, in the sink. Lunch the same time, supper the same thing." I did it. She wouldn't touch it. The next morning I went back to my old thing. One of them was standing overhead. The other one was hollering or singing. In her attention you know, she forgot, I opened her mouth, put it--she could hold that spoon full of food for a half an hour. Then, finally, she had it on one side, I pushed--it went in on the other. Then I closed her nose and her mouth and she was choking, she ??? She wanted air So she swallowed it and opened her mouth. That's unbelievable. Then, the Russian came in to Czechoslovakia. Yeah, I had with me, in two years I had three children. The two boys had pneumonia when they were four weeks old. Then the Russian came in, my husband went to the police station. For ten d...for ten thousand dollars we had a p...passport with a visa right away. For ten thousand kroner, not dollars, ten thousand kroner we had a visa right away. Came home, he said to me, we gonna go. The only place you could get the visa was to France, Paris, France. I had a house overhead. I had a steady meal. What am I gonna do with three children? He said to me, "now listen. It's gonna be like that. One night I'm gonna go to bed. The NKVD is gonna, is gonna, is gonna come, knock on the door. They gonna take me away and you're not gonna see me and I'm not gonna see a daylight. I'm going and your coming with me." In the meantime, the two boys had to be rushed into the hospital. They were there for three weeks. And I was there with them day and night, ??? my children. And from the hospital, I never went home, I had a beautiful home ??? and everything got locked up. And we went straight to the airport. From the airport to Paris. We arrived to Paris December the twenty-fourth. There wasn't anybody at the airport.

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