Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Anne Hirschle - July 21, 2006

Evacuating London

Um, there was a period in 1940, yeah, after the-when the bombing was really bad that my mother said to me, "Look, your father can't leave because he has patients this week. I can't leave because uh, I have to take care of him. Your sister can't leave because she had already left," she joined the British army, uh, "but you will have to take the two grandmothers. We found a place in the country for them. They can't stay here. They can't run fast enough. They can't-it's-the bombing is too bad, you're going to have to take them." So I was, I was thirteen at this time. So um, I took the two grandmothers to Gloucestershire where a friend had found accommodations for us. I was under the impression that after I got them settled we would all come back to Eng...to-I would come back to London and I would leave them there. Um, that was not to be. My mother followed the following week and said, "Now I'm taking you to the local grammar school." And I said, "I-she said I was coming home," and she said, "No, it's not the right place for children." And so for nine months I was evacuated and then things quieted down. I came back but the grandmothers stayed there.

This would have been during the Blitz in the '40s.

That was the begi...the early-the, the Blitz-you know the Blitz had many different stages. This was the early Blitz in 1940. Then later we had the doodle bugs, which were the V-1s and then we had the, the, the V-2s which were rockets, which were worse. The doodle bugs, the doodle bugs you heard them coming.

Mm-hm. They made a noise, "brr, brr, brr," like that. And then when the engine cut out you sat very quietly because you knew...

That it was coming down.

It's coming down and then you heard the explosion and then you felt very guilty, but very relieved because the explosion was not and you were still there. So those were the-nothings' really changed, has it?

No, I don't....

Uh, unfortunately.

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