Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Malka Sternberg - January 31, 2008

Thoughts on World War II

Let me take you back to the end of this war--the Second World War. What were your feelings when the, the war was over? Did you look back and wonder why all this had happened?

I don't think I've looked back like that. I sort of feel what happened had to happen but uh, I was--I don't know how to put it. First of all I started looking for my mother. They had all sorts of lists all the time and I looked all the lists, I mean everyday it was at least I went to look to see if I find her name on the list and of course I didn't. And then I was in a way happy that I could go to Israel which I couldn't do before but I must say the English were very, very wonderful with us--the English people. I got to know the English people from a side which today you can't find. They don't exist anymore.

What kind of...

They were kind, they took us in. There was never a difference between an English child and me, never. It was rationing so we all got the same rations. I used to keep my, my chocolate rations for my brother when I went to visit him so I always put in the chocolate rations. ??? remember it. Remember getting the chocolates but I didn't realize it was my rations.

You never wondered why because you were Jewish there was all this discrimination?

I was--when I was small already in the school I told you that I got to, to--slapped in the face because I was Jewish.

But when you began to hear about the Holocaust...

Well, this we found already when I was--when we were still in Reichenberg we heard about all this case what happened in Germany and in Austria. We had uh, somebody that was working there and was teaching Hebrew there and his niece was taken by the Gestapo and she was starved for about two weeks until her stomach shrank and they couldn't even give her any food anymore. It was all these stories we heard. We heard what there were happening. It was not new for us but I was small. How old was I? I was just a child but I believed all the stories because I heard them before. And my uncle was--we didn't know whether he was alive or not--the one that came to Russia and they were caught. We didn't know he had a baby and he didn't know about it. She was seven when she--when, when her father first saw my cousin. He came out, he was completely in pieces. He couldn't walk, his feet were completely frozen and he had a lot--it took him years until he was back--'til he could do a normal day's work.

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