Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Posner - March 11, 1986

Life in Amsterdam Ghetto

And my father still felt that um, the war would be over soon and that nothing would happen to us and we would be safe--that he could keep us out of going to concentration camp. Uh, sometime--but we went into hiding finally May 1943, but sometime bef...I'm not sure whether it was about a half year before or a year before, we had to move to another part of Amsterdam and that was just for Jews. The gates and all kinds of things were--we couldn't come and go. It was really not so bad for me because uh, again, there was a school there for me to go to and I started school and uh, I had friends. But this time my grandparents were taken from the house with my mother and father, right. My father wasn't home, my mother was there. My mother was crying hysterical, and, and begging them not to take her parents. But uh, again, my mother and I were allowed to stay right there and they just took my grandparents. And my father came home and, you know, felt very helpless. And uh, they were both crying. I was just a kid and I didn't really understand, um...

Were you also crying?

No, I wasn't crying. I, I was very upset by everybody crying and I just--was just glad that the scene was over. That was my feeling at the time. I was glad that they were out, my grandparents were gone and that the--this terrible scene was over. Um, until we moved to this--the ghetto area in Amsterdam my mother had spent a lot of time sending packages to Europe. And um, as early as 1942, when my mother got postcards from her sister and my--her sister was apparently--she, she wrote us that her husband was working and she was doing secretarial work in the office of somebody. And everybo...you know, it was difficult but it was okay. And uh, then when the letters stopped coming altogether my parents concluded immediately that they were no longer alive. Um, and then my--after my grandparents were gone we, we, you know, I look back now and I say, "Why did we hang around Amsterdam so long?" We hung around 'til like, the end of May 1943. I went to school and everyday there were kids who didn't show up and there were all kinds of reasons. They had either been sent to a concentration camp or there were kids who were killed in their beds during the night because of bombings, grenades. Um, I could just keep going on.

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