Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Anne Hirschle - July 21, 2006

Wanting to be English

And, and, and so after that first interlude in Gloucestershire I was allowed to come home. I do remember, you see, growing up in England. I do remember that I wanted desperately not to be a German. I, I was already feeling British. But of course my parents had an accent, my grandmothers spoke no English-I wanted to be, you know, I didn't want this to be well known. And so we arrived in Cirincester, which was the town where we had been told we were going. And here I was with two grandmothers and two suitcases, one in each hand, and there were no taxis, it was wartime, and I had the directions how to get to this place. And we were climbing up the hill and my grandmothers, not realizing how mortified I was, every car that came down that hill-and there weren't many because it was war time-it was "Halt! Halt! Taxi, taxi!"

So they were speaking German and you were trying to hide the fact.

And they wanted to, to-they couldn't think that I should be carrying these two suitcases and they wanted a taxi, and I kept saying, "There are no taxis. It's wartime, there are no taxis here. We have to walk." And so when you say what was it like growing up, I wanted desperately not to be known as German, but, of course, my family gave me away. And uh, it was embarrassing for me, and we did have restrictions. We had-that was one reason why I had to go to this town with my grandmothers. I had to get them registered at the police station; I had to get their ration books at the grocery store for them and we did have a curfew. Being German and not being naturalized yet we had a curfew. And uh, so all that was part of my growing up.

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