Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Gissing - April 22, 2006


Were there Zionists in your town?

No. No, I, um, there was a Jewish doctor and a Jewish vet...veterinarian surgeon, right. Both great admirers of my mother, who was really and truly beautiful, but very, very much in love with father so they didn't do something about. Um, I don't remember anybody, you know, who was uh, sort of deeply religious.

But even, even in the political aspect of Zionism, nobody ever talked about going to Palestine.


Certainly not...

...not as far as I know.

...not in your house.

Okay, yes. I mean, quite possibly behind closed doors when there was a, a whole group of them, uh, the subject may have been discussed. Uh, but before Hitler, and be...before there was the danger of Hitler, everybody was much too happy to be in uh, Czechoslovakia than to want to go to Palestine. You know, afterwards, obvi...I'm sure things had changed. But, you must please remember that our parents tried to shield us from fear.

So had you heard the name Hitler or Nazi?

Oh, of course, yes, we knew all about Hitler. Uh, and we knew that uh, he was--there was a threat of Hitler. But they hoped, of course, that um, the invasion wouldn't happen. It wasn't 'til after uh, Chamberlain broke his promise to Czechoslovakia, that uh, the situation changed rapidly and the fear then was absolutely uh, uh, well, I mean, there was a lot of fear then.

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