Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Hugo Marom - February 8, 2008

Adopting a Catholic Brother

There were many friends...Jewish friends...who they played bridge with and who uh, non-Jewish friends, which my mother due to the skiing teaching and due to tennis because tennis wasn't a Jewish game, okay? Nor was skiing really. It was really a sport for those who could afford it, okay? Going out of the country and I'm speak...speaking about organized trips whereas skiing was so popular that anybody could...the lowest of the lowest could get a pair of skis and go to the...go for a day's skiing in winter, okay? So um, I would say that the majority of my parents' friends were Jewish but the best friends were non-Jewish, okay?

And conversely do you remember ever experiencing any anti-Semitism at school or in the streets?

I was brought up...and I think the whole school was brought up...in an atmosphere that Judaism is not a race. The Jewish...being Jewish is not a race, it's a religion. Has nothing to do with anybody. It's a thing between my family, the Hebrew teacher, the synagogue, just as they went to the Catholic Church. In 1935, we...I was seven years old, my brother was five and a half and we kept on talking about Kurt, my brother who had died...was the oldest who died from this chicken bone...and we kept on putting food into the window for the stork to bring us another brother and uh, in those days...I think today they teach the children from class one how babies are born. We certainly were not taught so we were believed...we believed in the stork. And so, one day our parents brought in a surprise. They brought a boy by the name of Peter. He had no name because he came from a...there were, there were no Jewish children in the Jewish orphanage in Brno. There were only Catholic children and other children but there were no Jewish children. So we brought this Catholic boy by the name of Peter who became Peter Meisl. He was...he's also on the list. He was to go out. And he was brought up in the following way: he participated in everything that we did as Jewish children and every Sunday morning we would accompany him very early in the morning to the church...the Catholic Church. We weren't allowed in. We were waiting outside for an hour and so forth, we ran around and played and so forth in the park, which was very close and the three of us would come back home.

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