Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Posner - March 11, 1986

Being Separated from Parents

Where did you go at that point?

At that point, my mother and father and I split up. And I was taken to--I think it must have been the fall, must have been the fall of '44--and I was taken to a family--older people--who had married children. It was just a husband and wife and they had this really old lady living with them. It was the grandmother.

So you were taken by the...



...by the people in the underground, by bicycle. And I was taken to this house and it was just--it was a beautiful house. I remember the house had oriental carpeting because I used to walk the designs on that carpet. I couldn't go to sch... now, this was the first time that I was living like, you know, above ground--I wasn't in hiding but I wasn't going to school because it was dangerous for me to go to school because people might ask questions, what I was doing there. But I was able to live in the house. I stayed in the house, I didn't go outside, but I was--I just walked around the house. And I stayed there for two weeks, that was all. I cried morning, noon and night. Part of it may have been because it was the first time I was away from my parents. Although I never felt that I missed my parents. I didn't, I never--and then the people from the underground came. I saw them a couple of times and they just saw me crying there the whole time. I was terribly bored, I was terribly alone. And although the people who had me wanted to keep me, they saw that I was so unhappy and they found me another place. And the place I went to next was--this is all still in Enschede and these people were called Talsma.

How large a city is Enschede?

Enschede I don't know.

But it's a manufacturing town.

Yeah, yeah. It's uh, and this time I was taken to a family called Talsma. And the father was principal of the school, which was just down the road and uh, they had six children, the oldest of which was a girl who was about a year or two older than I was. And it was a very busy, very interesting family and I, I just felt like I was one of their--I was like child number seven in the house. I don't know.

So this wasn't a case where you were tucked away someplace.


You became part of the family.

Again, yes. And here again, I didn't go to school but here they--I was given a little more freedom. I did go out, out of the house...

By yourself?

...and go places.

By yourself?

With other people in the family--with other members of the family. Meanwhile my parents went to a woman who was a widow who owned a grocery. Now it's--the way I remember it, these, these last two families that I was with seemed fairly prosperous. Um, food was not a problem. I remember in the first of the two--the, the older couple that I was with, uh, churning butter. Someone...

[interruption in interview]

...I get a physical reaction when I talk about it.

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