Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Tamara Sessler - February 4, 2008

Escaping Vienna

And I remember as a child there was my mother, my two sisters and my grandmother--father's mother--with us. And I remember very vividly crossing the border late at night. My worst memory was going through corn field. The corn was higher than I was and out of the corn sprang birds and to me that was very frightening. It was something I always remember--this dark night and the birds flying up out of the corn. Eventually we made it across the border and there a ged...geme...how do you say this? One of the policemen from the...


Gendarme--that's the word I was looking for--he caught us and there was a danger of being sent back but he said, "I've also got children and I'm going to see that you're put up for the night." And he took us into a beautiful villa in Sudetenland and I remember thinking, "I don't know if we would've let people come into our home who were as muddy and dirty as we were." We went into a beautiful bathroom and all had a bath and then they gave us some supper and in the morning after thanking them hundreds of times we left and went to Brünn.

This was a Czech policeman?

A Czech--a Sudeten ???.

A Sudeten ???.

Sudeten. He was very kind as were the people who took us in. After all, there were five of us and we were really very muddy, you know, from this--I remember we had to cross a little stream and my sister who now lives in England, she was the bravest. She helped us all jump over this little str...it wasn't so easy, you know, with my grandmother. And my mother wasn't a big hero either and I was little so she helped us all. And when we got to--my sister said it wasn't Brünn but I thought it was Brünn--anyway, into Czechoslovakia where my father was. We didn't know exactly the number of the house where he lived and we have a whistle which went back to my great grandfather. Whenever we whistle it we're the only people in the world to have that whistle so we went on this road whistling until my father came out some house to meet us. I think we only stayed there over night and then onto Prague.

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