Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Gissing - April 22, 2006

Life Under German Occupation

Well, when they took the Sudetenland, do you remember if people were upset about that at first?

Uh, my parents had been to the Sudetenland and they were obviously very, very shocked. I, as a little girl, also tasted what it meant to some other people, because um, during the night, as the Germans were marching into the Sudetenland, many people, I mean, whether they were Jewish or Christian, or whether they were political refugees, rightists or uh, well, enemies of the Third Reich in anyway, um, they fled into the outskirts of Prague for shelter and one family and stopped in our town, and I found the next morning a girl in our class who wasn't there before. And I noticed though she was dressed she had no shoes on her feet. And, you know, I asked her ??? She said, "Well, my father ??? into town there was no time to take anything." And I noticed that her feet were the same size of--as mine, and uh, my home was just across the road from the school, so at play time I ran over and I just took a pair of shoes out of my wardrobe and then gave it to her. She was so pleased. When I was back from--back home in the afternoon, I thought my mother would be very cross with me. And instead of that she hugged me and there were tears in her eyes, and she said, "Bring Anna back home tomorrow after school and let's see what else we can pick out for her." So that was a little taste, you know, that the world isn't such a safe place after all.

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