Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Malka Sternberg - January 31, 2008

Mother's Experience

I had an uncle, one of the ??? brothers who wasn't married who adored my mother--it might have been the reason he never married, I don't know. But she had this visa to England and she was supposed to leave for England on a Sunday. He came before Shabbos to help her pack and then he went back to his place where he was staying and he said, "On Sunday I'll come to take you to the station." He never turned up. Instead telephoned the landlady where he was staying. He'd collapsed--lost his conscious...consciousness so my mother straight away went there and she missed her train to England. She was still safe and it turned out he had leukemia and cancer of the spine. And he was in a terrible condition, he had to go straight to hospital-- the Jewish hospital--and he only ate what my mother cooked. My mother had to schlep the--from the diff...from the other end of Prague to schlep the soups and things that she cooked for him. And he didn't live very long. He lived for about si...three weeks but these three weeks she was all the time with him. Then she had to spend, she had to spend--save for the funeral and get everything organized. Nobody helped her and there was a rich uncle in America--in England at the time and he had a, he had a somebody who took care of his things and he wouldn't give her a penny, he would not give her a penny. She had to--all her money went, everything. She learned to, to make ties and from, from that she supported him and herself and then in the end she had bury him. This story I only heard a few years ago when my uncle died. And she went to move into a--when, when this ??? became ill and all that she went to move into the Jewish Quarter because we didn't live in a Jewish dis...richer Jewish district we lived in but after that when Hitler came in it didn't work anymore. Jews were moved together into the old city and my mother also lived in the old city and she stayed there until '42 and then she was sent to Theresienstadt. She was there for not very many months--a few months--and from there she was sent to Treblinka. Somebody saw her in Treblinka, somebody knew her who got out and told us she'd been to Treblinka. And I was the one--it was registered in the um, Theresienstadt books--they have books there--that she was sent to Treblinka.

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