Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lola Taubman - December 22, 2009


Someone named Mermelstein called me...



From where?

This was just recently. Somebody from Detroit and wanted to know if I could interview her mother, interview her mother. So I said she should call me at the end of the month and she hasn't called me.

Daughter: This is--oh, so the...then my mother had a cousin--she went to one of these reunions and someone said--like in the 80s--and someone said, "Oh, you're--I know your cousin Sam Moss." And she said, "I don't have a cousin named Sam Moss," but this other cousin who was...

I visited him.

Daughter: ...the only cousin that survived on her mother's side...

This is my fa...this is my fa...

Daughter: ...that she knew escaped to Australia. This is my father.

...my favorite, my favorite picture.

Daughter: I took that picture. Um, and so this cousin, after all these years, they, they reunited after forty years of not knowing the other had survived. He had a false name, she had a false name. And he was in Australia.

This was our thirtieth anniversary.

In Australia?

Daughter: Yeah. He made his way through China, yeah.

When was this?

Daughter: In, in '84--no, '94, '94 in Florida. And this is one of the backyard gatherings...

This is last Rosh Hashanah.

Daughter: ...on Rosh Hashanah when my, when my--before my uncle and aunt died.

But they still have these?

Daughter: They still have them. The kids carry them on. So now we were the young generation, now we're the, we're the hosting generation.

Beautiful children.

Daughter: This was their fiftieth anniversary. We threw a party of them. [pause] Who's that mom? Who's this picture?

My classmate.

Daughter: Oh, uh-huh.

In Los Angeles we met.

Daughter: Uh-huh.

Are any of the grandchildren twins?

Daughter: Uh, we don't have twins but there are many sets of identical twins...

In the family.

Daughter: ...in the family. I was worried about having twins but I didn't have any.

My daughter just had twins.

Daughter: Yeah, this was the invitation I made for my parent's anniversary so that was their wedding picture and um, that was--in the first house that ??? ever designed. My aunt hosted it and, uh...

This is a girl I grew up friends from...

Daughter: Let me finish with one thing. This is my--this is what I love about this. So um, but this is the cousin who survived who's in Israel. And he has a Lubavitch son who has, I don't know, nine kids or something but this is when my parents--when they all became--got in contact. He flew--within two weeks of finding out my mother was alive few to the United States and met with her.


Daughter: And they uh, my parents went there. From a penniless man he became a phenomenally wealthy man in Israel, I mean, ???

Let, let me say he has, he has a beautiful home and when somebody takes, take a tour on a--on the ship or a boat in the harbor they point out his house. He, he has a partner so one partner has one floor, he has another floor and the main floor is to entertain guests. Every time somebody comes from Israel they entertain them.

Daughter: This says Israel but this is your house in Florida. I don't know. It's a mish-mosh. This is Israel.

This is uh, this is uh, when I came in '49.

Daughter: This is in Germany or something, mom. Where is this?


Daughter: Where is this?

This was in Switzerland.

Daughter: Oh.

This was when I was slim. [laughs]

You look okay to me.

Daughter: Yeah, not doing too bad for 84, mom.

Yeah, okay. These here. Here are, here are the three surviving--no, no two brothers and a son.

What are their names?


What are their names?

Their names? Um, he is uh, Louis, and uh, Martin and uh, Sigmund. This is a picture--I went from Frankfurt to Hamburg to demonstrate against when, when they, when they took the Jews to, to Cyprus so we went against the English.

Are you in this picture?

Pardon me?

Are you in this picture?

Yes. Here.

You look the same.

Here this girl. We were neighbors in Svalava. And when I was in Los Angeles she--and she--I found out that they, they came from South America to Los Angeles. They were two brothers so one brother lost a leg during the war and he went back to Germany to, to claim some money and meantime his wife got pregnant from a former--from a classmate. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. So I met her. I was glad to meet her.

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