Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Tamara Sessler - February 4, 2008

Escaping to England on Kindertransport

And um, then I started--I'm coming back to Prague now--then I started standing in a few embassies to try and get my mother--for all of us to get out of Czechoslovakia but my mother had a friend in England from Vienna who managed to get her a permit as a domestic worker. That was the only way England took in grownups over eighteen so she was all right but what about us? My elder sister couldn't come on any transport because she was getting to be--because she was seventeen--she was nearly seventeen. She was too old to as a Kinder and too young as a grown up. So there was my sister who lives in London and me. I do not remember how we got onto the Winton transports. I have no recollection of, you know, the formalities of it. And I didn't even know that that I was on this transport but I wanted to--who told me? I, I forget who told me--somebody told me here if you came from Prague on this and this days then you must've been a Winton kid. And afterwards I wrote to the refugee committee whatever in London and they said they haven't got my specific information but they can tell me I was number so-and-so and so-and-so on Winton's transport ??? and your sister was also on the same transport. And then when we had the Kindertransport Reunion in 1998 Winton was there and I just said, "Shalom," and pressed his hand and said, "Thank you." What can you say to somebody who saved your life? And from then on I knew--it's very funny because when every...everybody else who was a Winton child they were all born in Czechoslovakia, they were all Czech, yes? I don't know if there were many like me who were only there for one year, see? But uh, of course he was a marvelous man. I for many years thought that he was not Jewish which in fact he is. He's a full Jew.

His mother was Jewish.

His father, too.


Yes, he was Jewish. I have, I have a brother in law who went exactly the same way as Mr. Winton. Uh, very rich German and Austrian people thought to give their children a better chance in life they'll put a little bit of water on their foreheads and baptize them, yes? This was with in my brother in laws family with four boys. They first had brit milah--you are Jewish?


So you know what brit milah is.


And then when he was five or six they baptized him. Didn't help him much because he looked like two Jews and his gr...and his mother--his grandmother still went to Auschwitz but they thought at the time, you know, that they'd give their children a better chance at life.

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