Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Gissing - April 22, 2006

Religious Life

Was he religious?

No, none of the family were religious. You know, in Czechoslovakia, after actually, uh, after the First World War it became Czechoslovakia--we had a wonderful president and there was this tremendous patriotism that spread like a wave throughout the country and ninety percent of the population um, were so proud to be Czechs--they were so proud to have a place of their own--that they weren't anymore part of the Austrian empire. And um, and it really, really was a happy country. And I grew up knowing I was Jewish, of course, and I was happy to be Jewish, but it didn't matter what you were or who you were. You know, it's uh, it--I mean, in my class, for instance, there was only one person who was Jewish apart from me. And there was no rabbi, or nobody came to give us lessons. So rather than be bored, I went to the lessons--Chri...Christian lessons.

At school.

Yes, this was at school. We still went to the synagogue if we went to Prague to stay with the grandparents and on the ho...on holidays in ??? and--but uh, religion didn't play major roles in our lives until, of course, Hitler was on the scene.

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