Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Malka Sternberg - January 31, 2008

Attending a Jewish Boarding School

As a continuation, when we left Oxford this woman wanted to go back to London and the family, I don't know, they had their ways. Their children were all right in London. We weren't allowed to be in London, the war was coming. But we wanted to be in London but we didn't have a say in it so they sent us to a boarding school which was the foremost Jewish boarding school in England--very famous. Do you know Dotheboys Hall from Dickens?


That sort of a boarding school it was. That picture was on the--from me is at the boarding school. So we were three years there and...

And where was that located?

Par...whe...that's why they could do it because of the war and they had to be evacuated so they were in Wales in the castle and when I see Harry Potter--that sort of castle it was. That, that sort--it reminds me very much of the castle in Harry Potter--a real castle. It doesn't stand anymore, I think they've, they've demolished it somebody told me but the place was beautiful and very, very old but the treatment with--he could get away with murder there because he was a very good lawyer himself. He wasn't a lawyer but he could replace any lawyer in England. He was taken to court a few times by parents of the children--nobody was from a normal family--those who stayed--the permanent ones. Either the parents were divorced or one parent was only alive and got married to somebody else or like us--there were very few like us who were without parents there. Parents didn't leave their children there. It was a terrible place like Dotheboy's Hall--that sort of thing. It was Jewish and there we spent a lot of time then I asked Uncle Toby to take me out and he wouldn't take me out because he had nowhere--not--nowhere to go. Where should I, where should I go? Everybody is busy with their own families. Until one day he had a business friend whose son was also in that school but that son--they had a good home and when he was once punished he straight away managed to get a letter through to his father or a telegram, "Come unappoin...unappointed--without an appointment. Just come unannounced." He came and he--first thing he saw that I was in the pantry instead of being in class with piles of all the breakfast dishes I had to wash. He said, "What you doing here? You should be in class." I said, "I do that everyday." So he went to Uncle Toby and said, "I'm not leaving your office until you phone up that they're leaving." In the end I left but he didn't let the other ones--when I came back I got the other cousin and my brother out and there you are. People's memories are small. My brother and my cousin--it was a pouring night--they were very unhappy there. They had lice and I had poured paraffin oil on them and put them into a boiling bath and that sort of thing so could get rid of lice. They were in terrible condition--skin was peeling everywhere. So, he sent--my uncle sent me to--we were in Bradford at the time. He lived in Bradford so he took me because he didn't know where to send me so I went to Bradford. I had a little two rooms--a suite--a little two rooms and I lived there with a cousin and who was so eaten with the lice and my brother.

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