Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Malka Sternberg - January 31, 2008

Moving to London

They sent me finally to take them out. He phoned that I'm coming and he's got to give them to me and I'm taking them out. The castle was two miles before the first village and four miles before the second village. The first village didn't have taxis and things like that. I couldn't get there but the second village did--four miles. I packed up--he wouldn't give me--he said, "You can take them, take them but--you want them, take them." Phone? I can't use the phone. I wasn't allowed--he didn't let me make a phone call, didn't let make a phone call. It was pelting with rain--pouring cats and dogs. I packed their suit--their cases and I took one in one hand and one in the other--had my brother's case in one hand and him in the other hand and the cousin took her own case and we walked in that rain. They were both crying and we walked for miles and miles and miles soaked to the skin until we reached the second village where we took the bus to ??? where we had a bus--had a train to London. They've both forgotten. I talked to both my brother before he died--he didn't remember a thing--and my cousin who was older a little than me. I was at the time sixteen and he was nine or eight and she was about twelve. Didn't remember a thing, not a thing. Not how they walked at night, how we came in the rain--nothing. I was happy that they were over it, you know, I'm still thinking they were miserable for years. So, this was the boarding school and I managed to get Toby to persuade him to send me to London to the same Erika who was so nice to us in Oxford. She had in her apartment she kept something like seven or eight refugee children like my age or old...big ones, you know, teenagers.

Husband: Toby was in Bradford. She's speaking about she was sent from Bradford to, to... Yes--no, to Wales...

To Wales...

...to collect the children--to Wales. And I, I--my uncle let me in London because the train came through London to go to Bradford. He met me in London at the train and took ??? off and I didn't know what they were going to do with him. He was a lovely little boy but he was so full of this lice and things. They locked him in the bathroom for a week because they were frightened the lice would go so they gave him food and he had to stay there and I didn't know that 'til much later. See I came with the--the cousin came with me and just stayed with me and I combed with a tooth comb twice a day I had to do for three weeks. She was going to stay with my cousin--her--it was the cousin that was a mutual--she had three babies and she wouldn't have her with the lice. Until completely clean of lice, she wouldn't take her so I cleaned from lice for three weeks every day twice with a toothcomb and washing her hair everyday and again the toothcomb. She remembers nothing of it today. We're on very good terms today and she remembers nothing. I asked her once, "Do you remember when I used to comb your hair with a toothcomb?" She said, "No, I remember going to Clara, not, not remember staying with you."

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