Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Hugo Marom - February 8, 2008

Meeting Another Jew in Bedford

So, everybody liked it I take it.

So everybody...yes. That where probably it was taken from. And uh, now, the words...you asked me how I felt then...the words of the Czech anthem...the first words are "Kde Domov Muj," where is my home? So I felt in a very peculiar manner being awarded a medal by the Czechs being an Israeli in Prague two years ago and I think I felt the same way at that time in London that it was very peculiar I should be there and listening to "God Save the King."

Did you feel that was your home?

No, I never felt it was my home for, for two reasons. Number one, it's just impossible to imagine that we would not rejoin our parents. Whether at the beginning we were expecting to come very quickly, they talked about two or three months. Later on it became obvious they couldn't come as long as there was a war on. In fact, both of us refused to be adopted. We were twice...people wanted to adopt us twice during that period. Once an English family who was a...when I was a cadet he wanted to adopt...he was an English wing commander and he wanted...he had no children so he wanted to adopt us. And then part of the family of the only Jewish non-English master...he was an art master...very famous Austrian architect whose pictures I have all over the place here...who was the art master at the Silver Jubilee School. And uh, the first day he walked into the class and started asking names, he finally came to me and I said, "Hugo Meisl," and he said to me, "You're not English, are you? Where are you from?" So, I said, "I'm from Czechoslovakia...from Brno, Czechoslovakia." And I was insolent enough to say, "And you are not English either," because I could hear this strong German accent, "where are you from?" So, he said, "From Vienna," and following the lesson we had a discussion and tried to find out...I was the only Jewish boy in the school. And we became friends and his brother-in-law later on at the end of the war before we went back to Czechoslovakia suggested that uh, they wanted to adopt us and of course even at that time we were still hoping...although my parents were not on the list of the Red...the International Red Cross list were coming in from concentration camps and so forth. They were not on the lists, in spite of that it was our intention...it was also the Czech school, which we went to in...fr...in 1943, it was their intention to install a lot of national feelings for Czechoslovakia on all the students...

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