Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Gissing - April 22, 2006

Family Life

How large was the family?

How large?

Just you and your sister?

Just me and my sister uh, my father and mother and a few pussycats, which were in my family.

So grandparents, aunts, uncles?

Oh we had--my grandfather and grandmother lived in Prague and we used to go and see them every Sunday. Grandmother was blind, more or less um, from the time she had her last child--last son. And uh, I remember being told that uh, mother--who was the oldest of the six children uh, looked after her and brought the youngsters up for her. And uh, I'll never forget the time when my grandparents came to see us--which they did very frequently--came to stay for a few days. And I was only nine, nine years old and I was given this important task of leading my grandmother from our flat upstairs to my mother's office across the yard. And I felt very important. And I held on to her when suddenly she slipped and she fell and she fell on her face and her face started bleeding and I was just so horrified. It's an image which really stayed with me because I felt I didn't let just her down, but I let my parents down for giving me the responsibility. And our grandfather--he was a musician, he was a businessman and um, he had a beard, which tickled me no end whenever he kissed me. Whenever he did that uh, there were always giggles.

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