Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Malka Sternberg - January 31, 2008

Looking to Escape Czechoslovakia

So, there were only two of you? You and your brother?

There were only two of us, yes, and a big age difference of seven years between us. So, we lived in Prague when we lived already in a de...a decent flat and we had a nice home my father had to leave because Hitler came. And we were left by ourselves with my mother and my mother she got up every morning--four o'clock she was out of the house standing in queues at different embassies to try and get permission to leave here. And although we already had Uruguay papers, was one paper missing still, thank God, otherwise we would have landed in Uruguay. And one of the possibilities was children's transports whatever came--of course Israel and Youth Aliyah my mother wasn't very keen because I couldn't take my brother. I could go on children's transport but my brother couldn't go he was too young and she wanted us at least to be together. But anyway, didn't come. The first thing that came was the children's transport and we thought--we were sure--not we thought--we were sure that it was the same transport from Germany and Austria and Czechoslovakia and we didn't know that it wasn't. If you've been working on Winton--Nicholas Winton so you know that this what happened and we had no idea that it wasn't that. It was so obvious to us that the Germans were in Germany and, and in Austria and in Czechoslovakia the Jews were in danger. But then through the, through the story which I'm not going to repeat because you know it of Nicholas, of Nicholas Winton and, and, and Barazetti, what they did.

Do you remember them? Did you ever see them?

No, not--I saw them--I'm in touch now with Nicholas Winton. I phone him every birthday and every Christmas but uh, before that no, nobody knew anything for fifty years, exactly fifty years. In '39 it happened and in '89 he came out with the story. It didn't come to us until much--until a little later in '89. The story as I know it is when an aunt came to stay with him so his wife wanted to clean attic--she wanted to make a little room for her children could be there and she--her aunt could have a little room...

She found the scrapbook.

Yes, she found the scrapbook. She wanted to throw it away so she said, "What do I have to keep that for? Who knows what it is." So he told her the story--the first time she heard of it, his wife and then it came all over and the Kinder got to know about it.

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