Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

George Korper - March 26, 2007

Life After the War

So, you returned to England...

I returned to England. I went straight back to college. I was studying automobile engineering in Coventry which is the center of the industry there. And they had, they had a college which teaches courses, special courses, and then, then I had this contact with uh, with a member of the--and then I realized that as an engineer I'd have to take a job with one of the automobile factories and I didn't really feel that was right...

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...when I had this offer made by the Stocks, I grabbed it and I went to, I went to Trieste.

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Where in England?

I was in England from, let's see, '48, '48 to '54. For six years. Six years in that job. I got married in 1950 and I married a girl who was actually a grand niece of Dr. Leo Baeck. You've heard of Leo Baeck?

Sure, German Jew.

German Jew who was the chief rabbi of Berlin and they re...even the Nazis respected people like him. He stayed, you know a guy like that had a hundred and one chances to get out from Germany. He stayed, he stayed with his flock 'til the last day then they deported him to Theresienstadt and that's where he stayed and survived. And he looked after this girl, Ruth, who was his grandniece, and he saved her. He saved her life. She was a manic-depressive like her mother was a manic-depressive which, which...

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...knew about. But, when I met her, I met her in Paris and, and she was introduced to me by another friend who lived in London who was a great friend of hers. ??? and uh, fell in love and we got married two years later. And I knew the dangers, but the doctor told me--actually we believed--two doctors told me--two psy...two psychologists--psychiatrists, psychiatrists...

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...her sickness, even though it's, it's inherited uh, she can have a normal life when she has no worries, where she's looked after, a normal life, she should be all right. Especially if she has children. So, we had the first child a year after we got married and we had a second child twenty months after. After the second child, she became very sick. So, that's when the trouble started and then every eighteen months, every eighteen months average she had such an, such an, such an episode and in the end eighteen-and-a-half years of marriage she took an overdose of pills. We were in Canada by then. She took an overdose. Now, whether it, whether it was suicide or whether it was out of despair because she was going back--she knew she was going back to hospital again-- she hated going to hospital for treatments and so on. Because she just come up--come back--come home from hospital and they assured me that she was okay, but she wasn't fully, fully all right. She was sort of get--got over this period--bad period when she couldn't stay at home and um, she wasn't cured, of course, but when she was on level uh, the doctor ??? to me said, "She is, she is okay for the next year or two. Take her home, it will be fine." So that is what they told me, but she was not, she was not settled. And about three weeks after she came back from hospital uh, she slipped into a depression, something. She took to bed. She wouldn't move. I said, "Look we are going back on Saturday morning." Friday night we still went out to, to eat at a restaurant which is, you know, a special occasion, sort of lift her spirits, I thought. And during the night she, she woke up and she woke me up and she said, "Give me, give me my pills, please." And I ??? at this, believe me. I was half, half asleep and I retrieved the pills in the basement and I brought them up and gave them to her. When I went back to bed and instead of waiting for her to come back, I fell asleep. She took an overdose.

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