Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zivia Fischler - February 4, 2008

Life in Prague

Go, go, go, finish, go ahead, finish.

ZF: We were in Prague for one year, the whole family. It was a sort of little hotel. It had one large room...

BS: They can't have lived-it wasn't a hotel, it was a pen...penzion...

ZF: Penzion Rosa and uh, few of our families were living there, who came from, from Sudetengebiet to Prague and we were waiting to uh, how to leave because we knew that my parents were waiting but this is that Prague would be overrun by the Germans was absolutely-we were sure of that. We had to get out as far as possible and now in, in-when was it, March? When did they arri...they marched into, Germans marched into Prague. You remember...

BS: Marched...

ZF:...he remembers that. I remem...

BS: We were just-the German tanks came through our uh, almost closely-next to our penzion, penzion the German tanks came in on. That was the 15th of March, 1939. Yes and uh, we were under German occupation immediately there until, until we were sent to England.

ZF: Separately, we were sent separately.

What did you feel when you saw the Germans march in?

ZF: He-from the stories he told me-I mean this is what I remember from the war but it clearly was a-for him it seemed like a big adventure. He was thirteen, fourteen-it was an adventure. All those flags and the marching and he was-I didn't hear any fear out of him then. I heard-he was uh, how do you call this? He found it fantastic, he found it very beautiful. He found it very uh, uh...


ZF: Exhilarating, yes. It's something, something which a thirteen, fourteen year old would, would think. And uh, I remember the flags flying but I don't know. I had a foreboding because my mother was very much involved and she talked a lot about it and so forth and I had a fear of it.

Were you afraid as well?

BS: No.

ZF: ??? it was an adventure.

BS: I was not afraid. I don't know what-I, I, I never thought what the Nazis would bring.

ZF: No, you never thought that the Germans would be capable of doing something like that.

BS: I had no idea. I mean, I-on the contrary I saw all kinds of adventure, you know, and I-a boy of fourteen and I spoke with German soldiers. There was a camp not far away which was previously Czech and now it was German soldiers and I went to Germ...and spoke to them in German, yes? But I had no fear, no fear of them because we were not forced-it was too-nobody was forced to, to wear the yellow star. That came later, you see? So uh, I had no fear. The only thing is-no, I can't have any fear there. I was not afraid. On the contrary I saw it as kind of an adventure, you know, because I was going to England and I was sent to a Czech school in Prague and there they gave me the name-some boys called me "Shabbos," "Shabbos," "Shabbos". Now, why did they call me "Shabbos"? Because I did not write on Shabbos. I was called "Shabbos".

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