Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Gissing - April 22, 2006

Publishing Book

It must have been very emotional to go back over...

It was incredibly emotional, but, you know, when we had the reunion--it was only a week later after that they left--we had the reunion, I realized that in the book I didn't have just my story, I had their stories too--the rest of them. The whole community of people who were like family and that I owed it to them too and to the kindness of the British people who took us in.

In 1985 you didn't, you didn't know about Nicky Winton.

No, I didn't know about Nicky Winton at all. He, uh, I um, it took me about two and a half years to finish the, you know, two years to finish the book. And then, of course, I was looking for a publisher--a good publisher. And I found a very good Jewish publisher called Robson Books. And uh, anyway--but obviously I did a lot of interviewing as well--updating the people I knew, you know, so that I could draw them into the story. And uh, nobody knew who, who masterminded our rescue. And uh, I was then with my partner, Harry, who was a Jewish uh, colleague of mine from the school--we were in the same class for three years. So we were very close. Our class was just like a family.

What was his last name?

Steinhower. And he managed to get--his--my, his parents and sister managed to come here after him, you know, so. And he--we knew each other from the Czech school and uh, both our marriages had broken down. He married a shikseh and I married out as well, and so it was rather nice, you know, to be together. And uh, and anyway, that's it--he's died now. But we decided to hold that reunion and uh, it, it went down--it just went down so well. And uh, he was um, friendly with Esther Anderson, because you saw the film...


...didn't you? And you know where, where we embrace--when Nicky and I embrace and that was Esther Anderson's program. As it happens, Harry looked after Esther Anderson's teeth as a dentist and her husband was a writer as well, Desmond Wilcox, and he was Jewish, she wasn't. She went into the freight, but she wasn't Jewish--oh well I think we got--some message we had will come through. And uh, and uh, anyway uh, I don't know what I was going to say.

Desmond Wilcox.

Yeah, I know I was talking about Desmond, but they sort of, um...

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