Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bernard & Emery Klein - May 23, 1984

Family Continued

Your grandmother in the center?

E: [in unison] Yeah. B: Except it's very difficult to see. That's me uh, in 1932, or '33, I was either three or four years old there.

E: [in unison] This is my mother. B: These are couple of...

E: Us, with our cousins. B: Now here you see the grandmother in the middle, at the end, now...

E: With her daughters, which are around... B: This is a cousin on the end.

E: That's our father in his hat, holding our sister, who was at that time, probably a few... B: She was a few months old because she was born in 1933.

E: And next to them is our uncle who Bernie referred to before, our second father, we lived together and spent a lot of time with us. These are the two brothers, as again I mentioned who are... B: And that's our mother at the end there.

E: That's our mother there. That's our aunt. This is... B: This is a cousin holding our sister. That's the grandmother there with her daughters, our aunts.

E: That's one of our cousins.

Which cousin is this?

E: I can't even identify... B: I believe it's Eli Laundesmann. He's the one who made Aliyah in 1938 or early 1939, I'm not too sure of the date.

E: [in unison] That is our father. B: With me.

E: Bernie. B: [in unison] That's the two of us with our cousin. B: Now, our mother has just joined us there.

E: That's right.

You have a cousin who became a famous author?

B: Yeah, Ladislaw Grossman, he uh, he survived, of course, and he...

E: That's our grandmother, incidentally. B: He wrote the book, Shop on the Main Street, which later was made into a film and it won the Oscar for the best foreign picture.

E: Ida Kominska. B: It starred Ida Kominska. He, well, went to Israel in 1967 and unfortunately, a couple of years ago, he died at a very young age of 61.

Livestock was your, belonged to your family?

B: That was ours, yes.

E: It belonged to our parents. That's us with our family. B: As you can see, when the visitors came from America, the whole family gathered and uh, besides being together and uh, enjoying each other, we also made trips to other towns where we had relatives.

E: We were a very, very close-knit family and uh, it was a custom in our family every Friday night... B: Excuse me, this is grandmother with my mother and her sister, her mother is holding our sister.

E: It was a custom in our family, as I mentioned, every Friday night for our family to gather in our home. That's our truck and our two maids, which uh, worked for us. uh, every Friday night, we had a large group, as many as thirty or more people in the home and naturally our grandmother living with us was uh, automatically made it, made our home the center of uh, the family. These are the people who worked for us and do some vegetable cleaning or garage and the back of the house. As I mentioned before, we had a very long, narrow house, followed by a huge garden. There's our sister. That's Bernie and myself with two of our cousins. That's three of our cousins. B: Incidentally, those three did not survive.

E: The one, Bernie's at one end and that's my, that's Bernie marching. B: This is our cousin. This is a cousin...

E: There's a cousin with our uncle. B: I went back to take another turn. No, that was Emery, this is me. I didn't go back to take another turn.

E: That's Bernie. That's myself. That's Bernie and me in a little friendly fight. That's our mother with our sister. Myself. That's our father and uncle with myself and our sister. Posing for a picture for our uncle from America. B: This is our second set of parents, aunt and uncle.

E: We called them ???. That's our aunt and uncle Grossman who lived across the street. That's the Grossman cousins, Susie and Martrie. B: Susan still lives in Czechoslovakia. She is one of the few that survived.

E: That's Bernie and myself. As you can see, almost all the time wearing the same clothing, Bernie and myself. That's our sister. That's our father. B: This is Ladislaw Grossman, the author that I mentioned before and that's his sister. This is his other sister, it's the one that still lives in Czechoslovakia.

E: That's our mother with our grandmother. Our mother's name was Helen Klein. B: This was a neighbor of ours.

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