Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Kurt Stern - February 11, 2008

Life Before the War

Do you have any siblings?

No, I'm the only child. Um, if I said I remember we had a good life. I remember going every Sunday-well, almost every Sunday to the ??? in the Carlsbad on the promenade and my father when he was alive was an amateur dancer so I know we went there almost every opportunity at the Pupp Hotel which is still in existence today, I've been back to look. Not that I was very impressed so I want to go back again. It's not-I felt a stranger. But childhood families, I had a dog I remember. I remember one episode very clearly. I think it was uh, I don't know why. As I said it was a fairly small village and there was a river flowing not far from the family house and I went to the field to collect some field mice, which I put in a box. I wanted to bring them home and my mother of course wouldn't let me so I put them in a box next to the public toilet that was near the river. In the morning everything was gone. That's about the most vivid memory I have of my childhood.

Did you attend uh, school?

Yes, we spoke German at home. Czech was taught at the school. I went into the school couple of years I think only so my Czech is nonexistent although I still speak German.

And your parents were born in Germany?

Well, my father according to his birth certificate that he was born in Munich. I haven't got my mother's birth certificate. I imagine she was born in the family home because they were there and that was the Hapsburg Empire so the Hungarian Empire when she was born. She was born in 1903.

So you were surrounded by Volksdeutsche.


You were surrounded by Volksdeutsche.

Yes. When they uh, made ??? or registration of who wanted to be Czech or German well, I don't know what my parents wrote-or my mother wrote at that time but I had an uncle who was married to a goy and he wrote German and that saved their life when the Nazis uh, took over.

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