Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Kurt Stern - February 11, 2008

Thoughts on Being Sent Away

It must've been very difficult.

Look, the heroes of the whole story of the Kindertransport, I suppose not only of Winton's, is the heroes are the parents. Simple as that. I mean uh, not everybody did it. I mean, you know the Kindertransport stories. Some people sent--gave their babies--their two year olds up. Some people took the children off the train.

Did, did you ever wonder why this was happening to you in particular? You and your cousin? I mean, what was, what was it like...

No, no I'm personally not very--I believe in God of course, or something that's called God, you name it to call it what you like. I mean, there's uh, I can't explain it myself but I do believe in something beyond our understanding.

But as a child did you feel puzzled by why this was necessary?

No, no um, no. I don't think--I mean um, I remember when we were in the--when I was living in the hostel um, there was not--there wasn't an understanding. I remember there was some lady who when she heard I am coming to Israel--Jewish lady uh, "Why are you going to Israel? All, all the--what's left of the Jewish people are the bad guys," sort of thing. I don't remember her exact words but the good ones were--went to the, to the gas chambers. The ones that did all kinds of dirty tricks or whatever, they survived. I mean that's, that was their attitude. I mean, people didn't understand what was going on. I mean, this is uh, she was not a young lady anymore. Uh, she was catching--I don't remember how old she was but uh, she said all the bad remnants of Jewry are from the DP camps and all that. Same thing, people didn't talk it. And uh, as I said I only opened up in '89. That was a bit too late because at the time I would've--you're interviewing me because you want information. My uncle must've known what has happened, I never asked him. Uh, this aunt of mine who survived um, when the Communists took over in Czechoslovakia they were thrown out of Czechoslovakia because they voted to be German--or her husband. And they went to live in um, in Germany. I went--he passed away but I went to visit my Aunt Frieda in 1959. Didn't ask any questions. I didn't ask any questions. As I said, must've wanted to block it all out.

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