Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Tamara Sessler - February 4, 2008


And I went there and I met religious Jews for the first time in my life and they made a terrific, terrific impression on me. Especially, you know, these were the days when the people came out of the camps and we saw the pictures of the screen and my beloved grandmother was one of them; she, she died in Auschwitz. It made me feel very Jewish for the first time and then to meet these people who were so dedicated to coming to Israel and a Jewish life made a fantastic impression on me. And I went home thinking this is not the life I want to lead anymore--hairdressing and working. And on top of that I made--all the people at hachshara there were my friends and they sent me things to study about Judaism. And I got the letters still today. And slowly but surely I told my mother that I wanted to join them--she wouldn't hear of it--and I want to eat kosher. What's kosher? She wouldn't hear of anything like that and I nearly made myself ill because I was miserable and wanted to go there and in the end she agreed. Before that on holiday--I was there for twice for holiday and twice I met my husband who was to be but I didn't like them because he spoke like a farmer. I spoke like a little English model by then and he spoke like a farmer so I didn't like him and he was in the British Army then. But eventually in '4...end of '46 I joined the farm--the hachshara and he came on leave from the British Army and from then on I liked him and we were together for nearly 54 years but he died seven years ago. Now this Friday we have ???

And that's what convinced you to, to make aliyah?

Yes, yes, yes. Um, there was, there was very little token--I don't know how to explain token to you--there was very little in my life besides working, enjoying myself and no real aims, yes? And you come to a group of people who not only have a dimension and a purpose in life but they're striving for something, ???, they want to build a country, they want to build a better society, yes? Woman: Wait, wait.

Should I take the ??? one away? Woman: No, that's good.

Can you manage? Woman: Yup.

They wanted to build a better society.

So that makes a whole impression on somebody who is just very, very miserable and sad and lonely that she lost so many of her family and, and, the whole Jewish question came to the foreground once more when the war ended. And, and, why? Why were we singled out to be murdered and maybe we should have a country of our own to defend ourselves, not to be left to the slaughter. All these things were suddenly--they were ??? Jewish.

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