Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Gissing - April 22, 2006

Start of War

How long were you in communication with your, with your family when you were in England. Did you...

My parents?

Did you correspond with them at all?

Oh, my parents and I and my sister, we were writing nearly everyday. But once war started, there was no real news. We did have one or two little notes sent by Switzerland--some friends in Switzerland, and then it all ceased. And, and that's when I was--I felt so fortunate at having the sun and the stars and my diary, through which I remained close to them forever.

Did you have any idea when the war started what was, what was coming?

No uh, we, I was an optimistic little girl and, and uh, and there weren't real any news about the camps for several years. And it was until March 1943--and by then I was in a Czechoslovak school. There was a--after Dunkirk there was a Czechoslovak school set up because quite a lot of families fled from Prague to France and then, you know, to England with Benes's uh, sort of army. And um, um, it was rather, rather strange and pretty crummy actually. I mean, I loved writing even then and when I heard that President Benes was in England, you know, I was beside myself and I wrote to him--it was nearly Christmas--and I wrote to him sort of showing my faith in him--that soon he would lead us back into our beloved homeland, you know, and signed it, and anyway--and I got a little visiting card from him, you know, an acknowledgement.

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