Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Hugo Marom - February 8, 2008

Arriving in London

We went to, we went to Czech si...in 1943 um, the interesting part was that my father wasn't too pleased with this idea of sending us to an orphanage in London so he approached Nichola Win...well, not Nicholas Winton but Bill Barazetti and he arranged...actually we left having two places to go to basically and I can tell you in the diary which my father prepared for me to go he writes that we should go to this orphanage, which not until recently I found the address but uh, we arrived at the station together with the ??? boys and we were the only five out of two hundred odd children who were not picked up and we were left standing at the Liverpool Street Station between six thirty or seven o'clock in the morning when the train had arrived from Harwich and by ten thirty in the evening nobody had picked us up and we were sitting on our suitcases when a cab driver came and asked us...and I was the only one who spoke a few words of English because I had been learning for over a year...asked us what we were waiting for. I said, "We're waiting for somebody to pick us up," and he asked us wether we were hungry. And I said we were very hungry because the last time we ate was a sandwich in Hook of Holland before we got on the boat and we didn't all eat it because it had been very soft white bread that we hadn't been used to. So, he took us to a fish and chips shop in his cab...five of us with the suitcases...and I must tell you it's the finest meal I ever had in my life. It was the first time I had fish prepared the same...the way that the British prepare fish and it was the first time I had seen chips. It was not...can you imagine Czechoslovakia not, not being acquianted with this pommes frites...with the chips. So that wasn't the end of the story, the next thing is that of course we have no where to go, so he takes us to a high rise council building where he lived. Young man, had a baby, a one room apartment...he put us on the floor...put all sorts of thing on the floor...and the five of us slept in this small apartment. The next day I remember before we were going out, I went down into the street and I stood on the pavement watching double decker buses, which I hadn't seen before. And I vividly remember one stopping right next to me and indicating to me that I should cross the road because he thought I was going to cross the road. So, this was something also very, very memorable. And uh, he spent the next three days with us in the cab looking for a place who would accept us. Now he didn't...I would say on the average that at the beginning he was looking for places which perhaps we were supposed to go to. My theory is that this hostel which I now know, which no longer exists was very Orthodox...it's mentioned in the letters as well...and somebody did arrive from this hostel and he saw five boys with out kappas, without ???, without tzitzits on...and this was a place which was very, very Orthodox...he turned around and left and left us there.

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