Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ilya Martha Kessler - November 1, 1982


When you were going to school, was there any anti--Semitism in school after the Hungarians?

Uh, the day when they came, the Hungarian and we went with the sled outside to the... because they was Hungarian uh, farmers. So, they gave me too. So, I told my father I remember too. So, we was waiting and waiting for that. So, right away one of the Czech said, "You Jew, you go in the back." That's what we heard. So, I ran home, I said to my father. So, my father went to this teacher and said, "What kind of teacher you are? You are sick?" He said, "No, it wasn't true." You know, they, they started already. Jew is Jew, just... When I went to the city and I went there to school. There was like a high school was, you know, because the small places wasn't high school. So, my father always said the education is very important. So, we paid money. There post--high school money, so we take money there. So, that was like three, three goy uh, went and bump us Jewish. The Jews was together. And uh, it was uh, very, very bad when we came. You know, I was too young. I couldn't realize exactly what, what going. I just... but I heard because in Europe wasn't like here. You discussed everything with your child. There they didn't want to discuss. So people, uh... Kids just was listening and heard something.

Do you remember hearing your parents talk much about uh, the situation there? Were they very active politically, or...

My mother once said to my father because my, my mother... My father was religious. He didn't have no beard, nothing uh, a modern religious. My mother wasn't. She just did it because my father asked her to do it. She came in from a different family, you know, from a city. So, my mother always said, "How about if we sell everything and we go to the city? They not going to know we are Jewish there." My father didn't want because the whole family of his was there ??? He said, "Everything going to be good. Nothing... not going to touch us." Already '44. And they touch everybody. They took everybody. They're not going to take us. And my mother said, "Yes, they going to. How about if we buy papers and we go there to big city. Nobody know until end of the uh, war." My father didn't want to. So, my mother was depressed. She always was afraid something going to happen. And uh, we are not different, she always said. All the Jews. Doesn't matter that we... If they come in, the German, they going to took us. So, so that's what, uh... Nothing, you know, they... The religious people wasn't Zionist there. They just was religious and they believe it's not going to happen. That's uh, you can't be ??? without ??? so.

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