Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lisa Kallai - January 28, 2008

Feelings on Being Sent Away

Do you think you resented somewhere that they had sent you off?

No, no, never, never.

And they must have felt they had done the right thing, I mean, you survived.


You knew that the uh, the final train...the Winton train...was to leave on September 1st, 1939.

Mm-hm, well, I learned that here, I didn't know at the time, of course.

And all but two of those children...

I know.

...were killed.

One I thought.

Uh, actually it's Mrs. Federman...


...and I think her brother was with her.

Her brother, too?

I think so...

Because at the reunion I thought she said that she was the only one.

Well at first they thought that there were no one who had survived and then she said, no she had been on that train and I think her brother as well...


...um, so there's no question that they had done the right thing...

Mm-hm, yeah, of course.

...as the parents of all these children were saying. When was the fi...

I think in light of their own experience they, they were sure that they had done the right thing.

When was the first time you discovered the depth of the Holocaust had been?

I can't put my finger on it. Gradually...


...gradually. I think I haven't grasped it to this day.

Nor have I. Um, let's go back to when you went to school in London. What were you studying?

Uh, science...

You're a scientist now?

...decided...I'm a scientist now, yes. I decided to catch up on science because I said I...previously I hadn't had any so I did science in sixth form.

What, what sort of science did you go in to?

Well, in school it was chemistry, physics and mathematics...applied mathematics. My first degree at college was in chemistry. My PhD was in crystallography.



That's a long way from a small town in Czechoslovakia, isn't it?


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