Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Tamara Sessler - February 4, 2008

Fate of Family

How large was your family? Aunts and uncles?

How what?

How large was your family?

When I wrote down on my--whatever it was--it was forms, they asked. I remember at least twenty of my relatives who are not accounted for.

Who died in the war?

Who died--definitely died but I don't know where and I don't know when.

What happened to your other sister?

My elder sister lived here and died here. She went from Prague with my father and grandmother first to Hungary and in Hungary I must say they were not received very nicely with the rest of the Jews there although my father knew quite a lot of them because he was born in Hungary but he left as a child. But he had connections, you know, with people but hey thought that Hitler wouldn't get there. They didn't bother much with the refugees that were coming into their country. This I know from my father. I don't know, maybe just had bad experience, yes? But from there they smuggled themselves into Yugoslavia and they were always a few steps ahead of Hitler. There were a few Jews who were always ahead of Hitler and my sister, my father and my grandmother--my father in the meantime met and practically married--he married officially here--but was together with her maybe from Yugoslavia. They eventually got to some--first they were with the partisans. They were, they were interned with the partisans and then they got to some island near Italy. Then in Italy--and in Italy my father managed to contact the trans...transport for misplaced persons and then he came here. And my mother stayed in England.

I see, so the twenty, twenty members of your family that you've identified...

At least, at least twenty. As a child of ten you don't remember the names of, you know, the cousins and, you know, and all the family affairs--don't remember anymore.

Before the war, do you remember was there any conversation in your house about what was going on in Germany?

Uh, not really, not really. I know that my father was offered a plot in Israel--in Palestine and he said, "What should I do there? I'm Viennese, my children are Viennese. What should I do in Palestine?" There were a few clever people who thought differently, yes? But my father was not one of them.

Was your family religious at all?

No, no. That's the funny thing. We were not religious at all but we went to shul every Shabbat. And my mother used to clean out for Pesach and then bring fresh bread home.



So what, what was a Friday night like at your house?

Like every other night.

Like every other night.

Like every other night but we never missed a Shabbat morning in shul. You know this, everybody's got their own rules about everything, yes? No, we were not religious. I turned religious in '46 and it lasted three or four years.

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