Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alfred Lessing - January 26, 1993

Staying with his Grandfather

And you wore the star while you were there?

Yeah, let me come to that in a minute. My brother Ed stayed with the Niemenhausen family in Delft a few days or weeks until he went to stay with some people in Utrecht and his -- I can't follow all these different story lines, because each is a different journey -- but he stayed there a few days or weeks even, my parents left and went, I think somewhere else to the Hague, I don't know, but we began to spread out, we began our various journeys. Mine took me to Amsterdam, where apparently, my brother and I must have gone to this school where this picture is taken, um, although my brother, Attie, does not appear in this picture, which is very puzzling, maybe he was sick that day, I don't know. Sometime later, my mother came to see us and was furious that my grandfather... that he had us wearing stars. And, I cannot explain the logic of this either, I do not know what the hell was going on, we obviously, had gone under, we were obviously, hunted people, we were not at the address when the German net closed, we weren't there, they knew that, and they would be looking and they would know that my father's father lived in Amsterdam and why in God's name he had us wearing stars is unbelievable, he himself was quite exempt because he had a non-Jewish wife and secondly, he worked in an industry, clothing, which was of enormous importance to the Germans, they made German uniforms, they made clothing, so he was quite exempt really the whole war time...um, my mother was furious about us wearing stars and took us, literally, took us away from him and found us different homes. I mentioned the one that I went to next, the Dutch family where I got diphtheria. My brother Attie, I don't know where he went, he went somewhere else. But he did later show up briefly at this same family.

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