Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Gissing - April 22, 2006

Meeting Foster Mother

Just, back to the--before the, the uh, your escape. Did--do you remember that the Germans had passed anti-Jewish laws when they came into Czechoslovakia, I mean, could you still go to school? Could...

I was under the Germans less than three months, or about--because, because they came in March and I left on the 1st of July--three days before my eleventh bir...so, of course, there was nothing yet, at that time. And, in fact, the first time I was really aware of what was happening, though we heard ru...rumors, uh, let me just go back a little. I was with this very caring, but very poor Christian family and I called my foster-mother Mummy Rainford and, and Daddy Rainford was her husband, and they had a daughter Dorothy. I'll uh, never forget what happened when Mummy Rainford came to claim me at London. I was waiting for her in a big hall. There wasn't anyone left there. All the other children--all the other two hundred and thirty-nine children had been--including my sister--had gone uh, to their respective uh, guardians. And I was left there all alone and I, I was really scared to bits. And then this door opened, and there stood a little lady--hardly taller than myself and she had these big glasses and a hat with ??? on her head. And as she saw me she started laughing and smiling and crying at the same time and she ran towards me, flung her arms around me and she spoke some words I didn't understand then, but they were, "You shall be loved." And loved I was. And, you know, those are the most important words any child in danger, any child in need can hear.

And she was married.


She was married?

They were married and she had a daughter who was three years my ???. And that's another thing, which...

[interruption in interview]

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