Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Helen Stransky - January 31, 2008

Life with Foster Families

Do you remember those three families?

Yes, very well. The first family, my brother and I really loved them and um, my uncle was jealous of our love for them. We were in a small town, five hundred--you know, two small towns and my uncle thought we should get a city education so he brought us to a family in Toronto and I went to high school there and my brother was boarded with a different family.

So they split you up.

He split us up, yeah. And then we stayed there two years. I didn't like living with the family that he had designated for us. There were problems.

What sort of problems?

Well, abuse, um...


The um, what do you call it? The husband was--he--it was a, you know, type of abuse. I was a woman and he was after me and I didn't--I wanted out. And then also uh, there was conflict in the family. They had children and um, the mother being sick. Uh, she and her daughter were having terrible arguments all the time and I wanted to go back to the first family and my uncle didn't want to take--to let us go back. And uh, in the meantime that first foster father died and um, my um, and his wife uh, I went back for the last year of high school and then she died. And um, so then the third family, um, where was I--when--after the two years in um, Canada or after, after, after the two years of living with this other family in Toronto I went onto a third family, like we were, we were split up then and this third family--it was a widow and her daughter and an adopted daughter and so we were there for about five years and then later on we went on to Los Angeles.

Was that a family?

There was arguments between the daughter and her mom and conflict there and I guess it was really a muddled thing.

It's okay.

That was when I went to Los Angeles to be with my aunt and finally finish and finally start a profession of some type. I had the chance to be a nurse, a um, X ray technician or a dental hygienist. And um, so I--nursing wasn't open then because the classes had started. Anyways, I went on to be an X ray--and dental hygiene wasn't open either so I took up X ray and that's how I made my living after I left my family in uh, Los Angeles.

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