Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Hanna Ramras - January 26, 2008

Life with Foster Parents

These were--this was not a Jewish family.

No. This was Church of England. And um, after a few days I started picking up words: governess and Mr. and Mrs. Style, glass, table, chair, auntie, uncle. And children learn very quickly, especially if you have to and uh, I kept looking at Mrs. Style--a completely Victorian lady--and Mr. Style, a very nice, warmhearted man and I looked at him and I said to him, "Ich wünsche meine Mamma." I want my mom, and he cried. He cried like a, he cried like a baby.

So, you spoke to him in German.

I spoke German. That was the language that they--I spoke to my mother. Whatever I knew in Czech I forgot and--but the German I remembered.

No one in your family spoke Yiddish.

Not Yiddish, it was an accented German Yiddish. I had to learn Yiddish much later in life but uh, slowly, slowly I regained some strength. I was very undernourished. I needed dental care, cod liver oil--I remember this, right, cod liver oil--all sorts of things. They fed me and really took great care of me. They were wonderful, they were wonderful people. And when I was ready I was sent off to a private school. There was another girl, her name was Gerda, she was also from Czechoslovakia and on the same transport and we were in the same school. She was a little older than I am. After a certain time she left Swanage and we lost contact. Only now, in later years did Gerda catch up with me. She sent me a letter--she's in England, she's married--and she said, "I heard that you wrote a book. Please send it to me and I want to stay in contact with you and I've worried about you half my life time because always--I always remembered how ill you were. You were in much worse condition than I was on that ride."

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