Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Tamara Sessler - February 4, 2008


The following is an interview with Tamara Sessler on February 4, 2008 in Haifa, Israel. The interviewer is Sidney Bolkosky.

Could you tell me your name please and where you were born?

Yes. My name is Tamara Sessler. I used to be Fritzi ???. I was born in Vienna, 1928 and I left Vienna on August 11, '38--exactly on my birthday.

So you were ten when you left Vienna.

I was ten when I left Vienna and it was exactly on my birthday. And I have very bad memories of the Austrians because the day before Hitler reached Vienna and Austria, I personally heard them shouting, "Lang lebe Schuschnigg," that was the president of Austria before the war, Schuschnigg. And in the morning the same people were putting up their arms and shouting, "Heil Hitler," and starting very soon to go after the Jews. Um, when my father was made to scrub the floor he reckoned it was time he left Austria. He wasn't in Austria half the time any case, he worked in Berlin--my parents were parted. And he went across the border illegally from Austria to Czechoslovakia and he said on arrival he will let us know which way to take, you know, the general route how to get across the border. Unfortunately, he practically didn't make it because he didn't know the way and he sort of went around and around the same tree six times and he said the seventh time if he didn't make it--excuse me. Sorry.

Bless you.

He said the seventh time if he didn't make it he would stay with the tree but he did make it and then he wrote and told us exactly how to go.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn