Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Malka Sternberg - January 31, 2008

Brother's Experience

The, the, the irony--I have to say irony but it's, it's worse--it's a very, very sad irony-- tragedy I would call it. My little brother was four years old when we left. The little four year old boy stayed with him until he was killed which was in sixty--when he was sixty five years old. He never left him. He felt he was abandoned--his mother abandoned him and he would never part with his children, "If ever was a war came my children are not be going away from me. What's happened to me is going to happen to them." He would not--when his children wanted to know about him--what was his childhood he wouldn't tell. He said, "Phone Auntie ???. She'll tell you." And then every week he phone called me--we talked a lot on the phone because he was in Canada, "Did ??? call you?" I said, "No, she didn't call ???." They saw one of the films about the children's transports and uh, she didn't call for about six weeks then she wanted to know. I wrote to her this little story about the--how we had arrived--a friend of mine was writing a book from the Israeli children--children who are in Israel now from the Kindertransports. Everyone wrote a story of something so I wrote a story--she had to go to publishing and she gave me one day to do it in, she needs it tomorrow. And so I wrote a story of when how I went with knickers full of buns and he used to tuck--he tucked himself under my skirt and that's--that was the story. I wrote--when I wrote it I sent a copy to my brother. When he was killed his daughter-in-law found it in his drawer and she actually started crying. She didn't know.

He never told them the story?

No, he never--I actually sent them the book afterwards. From me they heard the story. He wanted me to tell them. He kept asking me, "Have they phoned you yet?" and uh, I wrote ??? sent them the book for the other children as well, that's the most I could do. He felt abandoned. The little four year old boy stayed inside him for the rest of his life--abandoned his mother didn't want him, she left him and his mother was so ups...there was not an unhappier woman in the whole transport there than our mother. In the end--the last years--I tried to talk to him. I realized how bad it was so I tried to talk to him and I think a little bit sunk in; a little bit--not much. But when he got killed the letter was still there, the story was there in his drawer. That, that happens sometimes. Just the little boy stayed in him all his life because he was a lovely little boy. Here he's only three in this picture. This here is his fourth birthday.

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