Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Baruch Spergel - February 4, 2008

Reuniting with Parents

What was the reunion like with your parents?

BS: Hmm?

What was the reunion like?

BS: With my...

With your parents.

BS: ...parents? Well, hers was a bit difficult.

ZF: Yes, mine was very difficult. I didn't know a word of German. Nobody spoke a word of German in England during the war, you know, so I didn't speak a single word of German and I didn't understand and I didn't remember them. So, when the boat arrived uh, we were-never mind that. We came with a group of children from the Kindertransport children to Palestine. Uh, these were the children whose parents had survived or one of their parents had survived and the English gave them a visa for their children. So um, boat arrived and uh, my brother worked in the port at the time. He was, was a seaman or-and he went on the ship and looking for me. And I didn't recognize him but I didn't-I was-but-he-I sort of had something in my head of what he looks like but my parents, no. So, he took me off the boat and we went to the entrance to the port-the, the gates were closed and people can't-couldn't come into the b...into port at that time without licenses and um, and he showed me my parents and I didn't recognize them. They were absolute strangers to me and it took me years and years to get uh, first of all I couldn't talk to them. They didn't understand me. I didn't know Hebrew, I didn't know German. I spoke only English and it was a pain-very lonely, very, very lonely; very difficult for me, very difficult feeling. In time-until we got closer but...

So it wasn't a joyous...

ZF: What?

It wasn't a joyous reunion.

ZF: No, it was, it was very stiff, very formal. Not, uh...

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