Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Hanna Ramras - January 26, 2008

Life Before the War

Tell me a little bit about what you remember life was like in Bratislava before the war.

Well, let's say that my memories in Bratislava--from Bratislava were not very happy memories because I found myself in an orphanage. I lost my father at a very--when I was very young. I don't even remember my father. He died of illness long before the war. And my mother must have had some kind of a breakdown because she couldn't take care of me and I was put into an orphanage. Now, what I do remember is that my mother left Bratislava and joined her father--my grandfather--the other end of the country which was then known as Sudetenland. The town that they lived in was called Aussig on the Elbe. I don't remember the Czech name for it.

But you had--you did not go with your mother...


...to the Sudetenland.

Uh, I went to Sudetenland for holidays. In the summer when the orphanage closed I traveled as a little child by myself on a train in the care of the train conductor and uh, this I remember very clearly: I was put onto the train with sandwiches and an orange and uh, I traveled in a carriage by myself and then in Prague the conductor came and took me off and put me with all the luggage that had to change trains to go to Aussig so I remember that I was standing there next to some very tall milk cans. In those days they transported milk not in plastic bags or in bottles but in large cans. And I would stand next to this milk can and I was very upset that I had to go with the luggage. And I waited until the conductor came and told me that I would be put onto the train from Prague to Aussig and the rest of the journey was already through a different kind of Czechoslovakia in those days--not the Czech Republic as today.

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