Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Anne Hirschle - July 21, 2006

Returning to Germany

Along that line, and maybe you didn't think about this or maybe your father did or your mother because they had been a little bit older and had, like you said, always thought of themselves as German, did it feel funny to think that you were living in a country that was not the country where you were born and they-this country that you were born in was dropping bombs on you and...

No, for me, I, I really identified-perhaps because I wanted so badly to be British uh, I identified with being British and I've got to tell you, I went-my niece wanted me to go back to Breslau. And my sister-she had taken my sister-this is my sister's daughter-and my sister said it didn't mean a thing to her, and I kept saying I can't go, my husband was still alive and I, I said I can't leave him, this is too strenuous a trip. I really needed an excuse because I wasn't particularly interested in going back. And then finally in, I think it was 2002, I think '02, she fi...I'd, I'd run out of excuses and she insisted on taking me back to Breslau. It left me totally cold. First of all, the corner where we had lived had been razed.

Do you know where it's at on this map? If, if you can, it's fine because it's obviously changed.

Uh, actually this part...

Is it not on that map?

Um, probably. Is, is this a railway thing? I think it's probably on...


...because we were right by a railway crossing. That's how I remember. I think it was a, a street that ran this way.


Yeah, um.

So here would be the, the town square.

Oh, where the-where they, yeah. Well, then it was-I, I, I do somewhere have maps that give the, the German as well as the English.

Okay, well....

But anyway uh, they took me back and it was quite interesting. First of all, it left me totally cold. And as a child I hadn't been very far beyond my, you know, walking to my grandmother's place or going to school. So many of the landmarks didn't mean much to me, even the ones that were still standing, but we had with us on this little trip a woman who is now-she was I think eighty-nine at the time-who had been my father's dental assistant and who had been very decent. And um, she still lives in, in Germany and uh, she wanted to come-for some reason my sister had been in touch with her. She had been a decent German, and uh, she wanted to come with us on this trip back to Breslau. And uh, while we were there I was furious because she kept lamenting, "Look what's happened to our Breslau." And I thought, "Our Breslau?"

Your Breslau.

It's not my Breslau. She said, "It's all Polish now." I thought, "Okay, they asked for it," you know.

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