Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Kurt Stern - February 11, 2008

Life with Foster Family II

Were the ??? religious?

The ??? were religious, very religious I would say. They're good Christians in the right sense of the word. As I said they couldn't adopt--couldn't bring children. When I and my--Ruth left they took two other children to, to--from broken homes. As I said before we arrived they had adopted a daughter, Kathleen, who I am in touch with and to me she's a sister. Uh, we keep in touch. She was--ah, I must tell you about Mr. and Mrs. ???. One of their family was a missionary in Palestine in the '20s or something. Mr. ??? was apart of the British Army under the command of Allenby who were here in 1917. Mr. and Mrs. ??? came on a pilgrimage tour in March or April 1967 and of course they stayed with me. They left the tour uh, stayed with us and I took them from Nazareth I took them to the Gaza Strip and all the road down to the ??? and from ??? the kibbutz what was on the border at that time, I showed them Gaza and all the way down. And he said, "There was nothing here when I was seventeen. It was only sand, heat and, and um, malaria, mosquitoes." He couldn't believe his eyes. When Kathleen and Jimmy were also here uh, but that's--Mr. and Mrs. ??? as I said were here before the Six Day's War...

Yeah, I was going to ask about that.

...and uh, I took them back to the ??? so they should meet up with their pilgrimage group and then they went to Bethlehem and Jerusalem and ??? and all that. If they would've waited three months I could've taken them.

Did you attend church service with them?

Oh yes, oh yes. They never, they never um, denied my Jewishness or tried to uh, make me a Christian but their whole family went to Sun...Sun...I mean the children--Kathleen and I and when Ruth was there, we went to Sunday school and at least one service on Sunday or afternoon or evening. What I do know, my uncle wanted to make me a Bar Mitzvah and they didn't agree. The reason that they gave is they said, "He shouldn't be different to other children."

Did that bother you?

Look, they didn't uh, as I said I'm very grateful. I mean for instance in this Six Day War in ??? '67 when we were waiting three weeks here to see what the United Nations would about Nasser they phoned and told me to send my children. Uh, I didn't because it's different. I was in my own country and we had our army and I uh, relied on our, on ourselves and I didn't send the children but I can under...now understand what my mother or our parents went through when they sent the children to God knows where. They didn't know.

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