Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Praw - May 22, 1983

Marriages and Family

How long did you stay in Bergen-Belsen with... [interruption in interview]

My son. Excuse me. He had a brother, with his wife and family, and um, he had a friend of his and he was, and ??? this was my first husband and we got married ???

How did he find you, do you know?

The cousin?


I don't remember. It was coincidental, whatever but I don't--I would like to know. He's not--we're not in contact, he's not a close cousin. But he's much older than I am, so he must be, I don't know, in the eighties. But I still would like to speak to him and ask him a few questions, you know. But um, I planned, it's going to be fifteen years that I am married to my husband in January. Maybe we go to Israel, and I'm going to have a chance to speak to him. The only reason I'm not going to Israel before, my legs, they cannot--I cannot walk for long. And in Israel you have to walk a lot, and I can't. But we are going to figure out how to do it that I should only--I can only, not only walk, even do things, I can only do things, I can only do things to like one o'clock. After one o'clock, I'm out. When I asked the doctor, I had one doctor, I'm with him all the years, he said a person is like a car. Your body is worn out a lot. Because I went through a tragedy, my first husband died of leukemia, and the kids, one was 4, and one was 11, and no family. I raised the kids by myself for ten years. And this was a little bit to the concentration camp ??? And you see, sometimes I am thinking I'm a hero, I'm Superman, that I can still speak, and I can still clean and cook and keep up. Even if I do just a half a day, but I do everything that has to be done, you know. But I have to add something. For all the things that I lived through, for helping people, God helped me. First I survived, and then God gave me another husband. Not to describe his goodness. He's the finest person, what people--it's unbelievable, unbelievable how good he is to me. And he makes my last days of my life very happy. I have to tell you something when you take the tape off because... [laughs]. My son-in-law called me, four weeks ago. I usually--my daughter calls me, and they help us a lot, because my husband's business, or not anymore, he makes plastic covers for couches, and not too many people use plastic covers, and they help us since they start to make a living, but we try to help, whatever we could, because he was still in school when they got married. And uh, he called me four weeks ago, I speak to him on the telephone, very rare because he's busy, and the daughter does the calling. He said, what can I do for you, what you need, I said, I need something. He said what, money, whatever. I said listen to me. Harry isn't home. I want to tell you something. If something happens to me, take care of her. So he, you know, he said what you think, we--older people like we, we would say oh nothing is going to happen to you, but young kid. But then it's ??? what he said. If you are over sixty, you know! They don't mean, they don't think! So he said that would make me very happy that you don't even have to think about it, because this is not her father, it's her stepfather you know. My daughter was very close to her father. But the younger one doesn't remember her father, but my older one. And this make me really feel good, you know.

You married your first husband in Altmann???, and how long did you stay in Germany?

Um, we left Germany, uh, I got married in 1946, in January, and I came to the United States in 1947.

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