Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lisa Kallai - January 28, 2008

Bombing of London

Do you remember the bombings?


The bombings during the war?

The bombings, yes. Well, part of the time I was evacuated as I said. For the first year we were evacuated in North Hampton and uh, I was in London sort of during, during holidays sometimes even before that to spend time with my aunt and uncle then. We had bombings. Later it was mostly the flying bombs, the V1 and the V2. Yes, I certainly remember that.

That must have been terrifying.

It was but uh, somehow, you know, we took it all in stride. The English were so calm and so self-controlled that it was infectious.

So you were also calm and controlled?

Absolutely, absolutely. I remember one night when we had bombs all around us and I went out at night to...I had a feeling I must help and of course, they didn't have anything to do for me. They needed trained personnel and not me so they sent me home but I was so impressed by the way people behaved that it really left its mark.

So you had good role models at that point.

Yes, absolutely. I mean, the way the British behaved during that time was really remarkable.

At this point you must've had news of the war.

At that point...well, my first news of the concentration camps came when we were evacuated. I was at a school hostel and the Canon of North Hampton used to come and talk to the, to the girls at the hostel and I thought there was no harm in, in going to listen what he has to say. The other Jewish girls didn't come...there were a few Jewish gir...other Jewish girls at the hostel...no refugees, but other Jewish girls. I decided I might as well hear what he has to say and so he said...he talked about the camps and it was the first I'd heard of them. And he said, "It's the swing of the pendulum. Once the Jews did it to others, now it's being done to the Jews." So...

Did you say anything?

I got up and walked out.

I wonder what he meant.

Biblical times I presume.

So that was the first you heard...

This was the first I heard of the, of uh, camps.

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