Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Gissing - April 22, 2006

Doesn't Consider Herself a Holocaust Survivor

Well, now that you brought this up um, when you came to England or when you came to the United S...to England...


...to live in England. Did you consider yourself a survivor? Did you identify yourself as a survivor?

I was ten years old. I considered myself a little girl who was sent to England to learn English and to stay there ‘til the problem blew over and um, you know, and I was uh, told before I left, "You'll be back within a year, you'll see." So, you know...

Then and now?

...survivors, nobody considered themselves survivors then.

No--okay, but do you now?

Not until ten years later. Um, no. Um, I consider myself a child of, you know--it's, it's a difficult question because there is this animosity from the real survivors of the Holocaust...

You mean the camp...

...to us.

...camp survivors.

Yes, to the camps, yes. Um, to um, to us who were just sheltering in England really until the problems blew over. At least that was the uh, that, that was what was supposed...

Of course, you weren't supposed to be here.


You weren't supposed to be here, according to the Germans.

You mean, I wasn't supposed to be alive?


Yeah. There, there would have been no possibility of me surviving had I stayed behind uh, if my parents uh, did not have the moral courage, you know, to let us go. And, I mean, it took an awful lot of--for it be--just tremendous love, and tremendous strength to let us go.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn