Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Malka Sternberg - January 31, 2008

Education in England

I've talked too much I think.

No, no.

Maybe I've bored you with these silly stories.

No, it's never boring. Woman: Ready?

Yeah. And did you...

And when I talk about Brixton I'd like to um, my one person that took care of us was a wonderful woman. She was not married and she came from Germany and she was, she was interned in Isle of Man where all the German Jews were interned that they, they were regarded as enemy aliens so they all were taken into internment camp. And my aunt got her out--you could get her out if you had--if you vouched for her and you had a--she had a place to live in and a job so my aunt took her out and she--we were the place to live in and we were the place of the job, she got salary for it. And she, she changed our lives. She really, really was a wonderful woman. For instance I was thirteen years old I never got a po...I had no pocket money, there was no such thing. She immediately arranged that I got pocket money. I was registered in a church school. My cousins were in a private school, I was in the church school. She took me straight away out of the church school and into the private school I couldn't make because they all needed French and I hadn't learned a word of French. Then I came across to the last private school that we tried and I said, "Give me a chance. Let me stay half a year and I'll catch up my, my French." And she gave me the chance and I was very lucky because the French teacher was a divorced woman who was the refugee so she and I were the two foreigners and we had this immediately relationship and she helped me a lot and when half a year was up I was not only in the class of my age I was the top, especially in French, so I had no problems after that.

Do you remember the woman's name?



The teacher?

No, the woman.

Oh, the woman? Yes, I remember for that all my life I, I was in touch with her. Erika Goldsmit. She comes from Hamburg.

And how did you meet her?

Oh she was--when we were--when I was three she was at my aunt's place--my rich uncle's--the, the Fraulein, the, the, the governess when we were very small. And when we came to England she was there and she was in the Isle of Man so we took her out to take care of us. She was excellent. She was cut out for children. My brother adored her and she adored him. She just adored that little boy and, and he adored her. She was very, very good with all of us.

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