Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Helena Manaster - December 9, 1983

Hospital Stay

Thank God...

When he was three-months-old, I think, she used to come to visit with me. Once she came and uh, she asked whether I want to take a child--once she said, "You have the one child, would you like to take another child to take care of?" It was an orphan and they'd go through the East and she was a month old. Uh, it was Krisha. I can't remember exactly, I think Krisha Samestka. She was so neglected nobody thought that she would survive. I took her and nursed her and raised out of her a beautiful girl. So I had two babies to take care of in that uh, small rooms--back in the monastery they have small rooms. And there I have two, three times very bad experiences. Once I was sitting with both the babies in the yard. It had a huge--what do you call it? Rose garden and uh, I see two Gestapo men are approaching me. And they came straight to me, so I thought that they came to take me. Oh, I think I have to go back--something else, a very important thing when Arthur was born. ??? in the garden. They came, they looked at the babies. They looked at me. They make the remark that Arthur was a beautiful baby, they said that he sleeps so beautifully. ??? and I never knew whom they were looking for, what they did, why they came, but I could assume they came for me. I would always say that Arthur was born in Gestapo's assistance and this was whole other chapter. I'm just jumping, I don't know how it will come out. Why I said it is nothing odd. When I was in the delivery room uh, a nurse came in and she said, "You have to get up the Gestapo's waiting for you." So, of course I thought that this would be the end. Because it was explicitly she came to me and asked me to get up from the delivery bed. I came out and there was two Gestapo men standing, looking at me. We went out but I was calm, I didn't say anything. They looked at me and left. That was a miracle. I found out later that they were checking on the midwife who broke the curfew. She came to assist me but was curfew it was midnight.

And you kept your composure?

That was--that what I said, that's my nature, that how I survived otherwise all those times. This was a sure that I would make one move or say something or show some fear so that. So what else should I tell you?

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