Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Helen Stransky - January 31, 2008

Finding Religion IV

Do you think that your childhood experience had any effect on the way you've shaped the rest of your life, including your quest for religious identity?

Um, yes. Um, when I was nine years old um, I didn't know--I wanted to be good and I remem...the one uh, the one phrase I remembered from my uncle and grandmother ??? was, "Don't be nasty to me." And um, my uncle--he wasn't good at telling the truth. He'd disappoint me if I went to live with them when my bro...when we were small we wanted to go back to the first family where we were. He, he didn't want us to. And um, yes I do believe the childhood thing--and, and, and when he took us to the second family or so when we were with--no--when we were with them I wanted so much to go back to the first family. And she had taught me about Jesus when I was little and I figured other people had Hollywood stars but I--but to me Jesus was what I wanted because he was good, he was kind, he did miracles and he um, what do you call it? He, he--well, it was his kindness and his goodness and comfort you got in that. And for me the first family, they were like a little candle glowing in my life. And I'd read the scriptures from all the Old Testament by the--before I went to the second family and I couldn't see Jesus in it although it said there were things there in the prophecy showed him but I didn't quite understand it. I was too young and I didn't ask question but later on it was the graces of my beliefs because it was too, I don't know, I couldn't go back to what I'd learned about Judaism. I couldn't live like that and I didn't have to observe six hundred and thirteen laws.

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