Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lucy Glaser Merritt - July 8, 1991

Memories of Vienna

What are some of your fond...do you have any fond memories of the city? What was a typical day, say, like going to school when you were in gymnasium?

Yeah, well you walked there first. You never went on anything but on foot. And so I had to walk past the park and cross the canal. And I used to always like to look at the water. And there was a beggar sitting there who had only one leg and I always gave him half my lunch because I didn't want to eat that much anyway and he was grateful. And then just went on there and started uh, our classes were all together. You know, these people whom I met in Vienna had been with me six hours each day. We had the same curriculum. There wasn't this you go here and you go there. It was all prescribed. It was five years of Latin uh, five years of Greek and seven years of Latin we had. And we had math ???And we all took the same classes together. And so we would sit in class together and we had ten minutes in the hall where we could carry on. And usually we played football, Fußball. I used to like to play that.


Yes. And uh, then I and my friends would walk home together from school. But we weren't allowed to go out near other children after school. After school we were supposed to study. So the only contact was on the way home, which we therefore proceeded very leisurely.

Uh, what was your social life like?

Well, we didn't have any social life. That wasn't-the only social life that you had with the people who my parents invited happened to have offsprings. Then they would bring 'em and we would be shoved over in another room because they wouldn't be caught dead with us, eating withes. My father mostly did not eat with us 'cause that was hard on his nerves. And, he was usually-he liked to be served in quiet, in a quiet surrounding, so.

And if you went out to the opera or the theater you went as a family?

No, I went with the other students and my brother went with his group. My parents would go. But not with us.

So it was a school function.

Yes, it was a regular theater. But we got the seats you know, up there. We would go on hikes together. The only real family effort that my father liked to engage in was to introduce us to nature with a backpack. He liked to hike. We went in the Alps.

So you would what, take a train?

Well, we would spend the summer in the Alps and then we would hike from there. Yeah, we'd take a train and then from then on foot, wherever. So these were day, day long trips.

Um, were there any political discussion that you remember in your.

Only that my father felt that socialism was ill-advised and my brother had the opposite opinion. And uh, when my father uh, my mother blames my father for having ruined the monarchy because he bought bonds in the war. And that immediately predisposed the monarchy to disaster. So when he wanted to buy war bonds here she insisted that he not do that. She didn't want the U.S. to lose. But that's the only thing they ever talked about. Mainly they talked about their professions and the theater and music. My father in particular very interested in voice since he had studied it for many years.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn