Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Gissing - April 22, 2006

Reaction to Being Sent Away

Let me take you back just for a second. I'm going to...

Yeah. It's all right, that's fine.

...ask the same question. When you were sitting at a dinner table with your family before you got on the, on the train, and your mother said the next day you were going to leave...

Well, not, not the next day, it was the next month.

The next--okay. But she had basically announced...

Yeah. SB:... that you were leaving...

That we could leave, because fa...she was waiting for father's reaction.

...what was your reaction?

I was flabbergasted, and at the same time little bit afraid and a little bit excited, because as far as I knew no one from our town had been, ever, ever been in England.

So this was an adventure.

Yes, and, and my parents sort of tried to make me think of it as an adventure--as, as an opportunity to learn another language uh, see other people. Uh, I think, and I'm pretty sure that they tried to persuade themselves that we will be back. I think it they admitted to themselves that there's a big possibility we would never see each other again they wouldn't do it. I don't know, I, I--but it would have been much, much harder.

And the, the night before you left, was that still the same kind of ambi...ambivalent feelings about going?

There was never ambi...ambivalent feelings about it. It was just a--almost trying to convince yourself--saying it to yourself--to give you the strength to turn your back on your own children, you know. I mean, it must have been a terrible, terrible decision.

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