Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lisa Kallai - January 28, 2008

Being Sent to England

And at what point did uh, your grandparents think it was time to send you off again.

At no point at all, they didn't want me to go.

So who made the decision?

It was my, my parents...

Your parents did.

...my parents. My paren...grandparents said up until the last moment, "If you don't want to go, you don't have to."

And did you want to go?

Uh, I started feelings that things were a bit oppressive. I thought I'd get to England and get my parents out. My father came in between...just before the Germans marched into Czechoslovakia my father came across to, to my grandparents. The ideas was that he would leave...it was easier for a woman to leave the country afterwards...that he would leave...if he had an opportunity to leave, my mother would follow after the Germans marched in, he went back to Vienna. He couldn't leave anymore so he went back.

So, it was your father who either heard about or contacted the, the Winton people.

Yes...well not...I was registered for the general transport in Vienna...

The Kindertransport.

In the Kindertransport. And my papers came through but I was already in Czechoslovakia so somehow my papers were transferred to Prague and I was attached to the Winton transport. I don't even appear on their official forms. I was on the train but I don't know how I got onto it.

And do you know what the, what the details of that were? What your father had to do to get you on the train?

No, I think he just registered me and when papers came through and I wasn't there, the story I heard was that when was queuing up, there was somebody there who knew me...a girl working there knew me and she recognized my father and she told him to stay behind and she sent a courier to, to Prague with the papers. She somehow managed it. So, but details I don't know, I mean, that's, that's the story that I was told later.

It was luck.

It was luck, yes.

What was the transport like?

Transport? Well, my most vivid memory is...first of all, at the station, that I remember well. My grandmother and an aunt and uncle took me to the station in Prague and a woman came up to me with a baby and a big box of chocolates. She gave me the baby and the chocolates and just said, "Look after my baby." That is something that sends shivers down my back to this day. I had no idea what to do with a baby.

What did you do?

There was another girl in the compartment who knew what to do with a baby. And there was a little boy who only spoke Czech and a lot of people there ca...on the transport came from the Sudetenland and spoke German and the woman in charge didn't speak Czech. So, I could take charge of the little boy because I could talk to him so we just swapped. She looked after the baby, I looked after the boy, but...

Was the compartment full of, full of chi...

Children yes, but I only remember the little boy and the baby.

The little boy and the baby.

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