Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Tamara Sessler - February 4, 2008

Being on the Kindertransport

Um, but first I want, I want to know about the...

That's an interesting story.

...I want to know a little bit more about the Winton train transport. Who, who were you with when you went on the, on the train?

My sister. My mother got onto the same train but she wasn't with us. She was in a different compartment or something. You know, when we talk to these reunions about the trip over, I said to my sister, "You know, I don't remember being on a ship." So she said, "How could you remember? You slept all the way." I had no recollection at all. But you see, my sister, she was always the strongest one in the family. That's why it was so terrible for me also to leave her in Birmingham at the station. She was always much stronger than my mother. She was always the--how do you call it? Not the leader in the family but, you know, she was always the ???, you know, she always arranged everything. Even to this day when I need advice I ask my sister. She's three years older than me.

Do you remember feeling frightened as a child on the train?

On the train? Not--on the train not at all. I was just sad because my father and his mother and my sister came to see us off. I could see my father waving his hat like this and it made me sad to leave them but one didn't know that you left them for good. You thought, you know, you're going to someplace for sometime and then you come back again--you go back home again. This is what a ten year old thought. What grownups thought may have been completely different but to us it was a little bit, you know, bit of an adventure even, you know. You're going somewhere and you come back home again. You didn't realize it was forever. And the children--the Kindertransport children who lost their parents, I mean, from the parents point of view it was the bravest thing any human being could do but the children had no realization of the fact that they'll never see them again. They also thought, you know, they're going to England and their parents will follow. I was one of the lucky ones that both my parents stayed alive.

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