Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Helen Stransky - January 31, 2008

Relationship with Brother

When I went back to, to--when I went to visit him in Canada, he did not want any part of the Judaism. He was afraid for his children that they would be um, considered--that if anti-Semitism broke out in America, his children would suffer. Um, and when I went to visit him for the first few years when the children were young, I was the visitor from Amsterdam and I didn't hardly know anything about Amsterdam except the airport. But, uh...

How did he uh, discuss that with the children I mean, this person from Amsterdam. How did he bring that up?

Well, um, they just said that--eventually, that was the first ten, fifteen years. After that I got fed up with the whole thing and uh, got up some courage and brought books of Israel with me on a visit to show to the children and said, "This is where I live."

And how did they take it?

Well, they were curious but they, I don't know, they, they didn't seem to um, they, they just accepted it without knowing too much.

Did he also accept it?

My brother?


He told me not to say anything about the kids being--about the background but that came out despite things um, when the oldest son got married. Uh, the came to me--the two eldest came to me one at a time when I was on a visit and they asked about the background and since they were twenty one I felt it was just to tell them and I did, the youngest one I didn't. And my sister in law was very angry about it. She wasn't Jewish and I guess the kids would not be considered being Jewish because their mother wasn't. Um...

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