Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Hugo Marom - February 8, 2008

Finding Family in London

Now you said you were taken at one point to Swiss Cottage...

Swiss Cottage is part of north London.

Yeah. Weren't there a lot of German Jews living there?

In Swiss Cottage? What I mentioned was...this is just an interesting point...Swiss Cottage...I can tell you something about that particular area. First of all, the only thing I knew at that point very...at the beginning was that the Harbn School was, was off the main road...it's actually between St. John's Wood and Swiss Cottage where the school was located. It no longer exists there because it was actually bombed out during the war and pulled down for modern buildings most probably. But I can tell you this; I had an address of my mother's first cousin. Her name was Elsa...Ilse, Isle...Elsa Spielman and I had this address and the address was written in such away that it only had the name of um, what was the name ???, what was name of uh, oh where was ??? Court?

Wife: Belsize Park. Belsize Park. The only thing I had Belsize Park, London, Spielman. So, I went on one...I took Rudy, my brother, one Sunday while we were at this hostel and we went to look for Mrs. Spielman who was a cousin that I didn't know...I never remembered who she was, I was ten and a half years old or something like that. And we walked all the way from Cricklewood to Belsize Park, which is way...which is another distance from Swiss Cottage to the uh, in the same direction. And we find that there's a Belsize Grove, a Belsize news, and Belsize uh, Avenue and Belsize Street and Belsize whatever. And we went from place to place and we're going down one of these Belsize roads and all of a sudden I hear a woman screaming in German at a kid that's obviously a baby that's crying and having heard this German, I said, "This would be a ni...an interesting person to ask. Perhaps she knows where...as a Spielman who came from Vienna and from Czechoslovakia...where she lives." So I...we walked up the stairs to this building which had a number of apartments in it. It was an old sort of upstairs and downstairs type of home where once upon a time rich English people lived. And in one room there we walked in and I asked if she knew where...if she had ever heard of Elsa Spielman. She says, "I'm Elsa Spielman."

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn