13 Tapes

SIDE ONE 11/15/1993

This is Monday morning, 10:45 am, November 15, 1993.

I am sitting at the home of Margot Rechnitz. This is the first session of the taping. What is your name?

Margot

Your maiden name?

Krakauer

Your birth date?

February 3, 1925.

Where were you born?

In Berlin. Lilli

Your mother’s name?

Matilda.

And her maiden name?

Raaber.

And your father’s name?

Herman. Do you happen to know what year your mother was born?

No, nor my father either.

Do you have any idea how old your mom might have been when you were born?

That’s a good question. I don’t know, but I think around wartime, around 1939, she was a little over 40. I don’t know — I really don’t remember. I just remember her being gray since I remember. You know.

And your dad?

I don’t know either. He was a little bit older but didn’t look it.

And your mother. Where was she born?

She was born in Poland.

Do you know the name of the town?

I think? I don’t know how….

And your dad?

Chanov — I think.

And that was in Poland too?

Yes.

I know you had two sisters.

Right. Hedde and Lilli.

What year was Hedde born?

She was two and a half years younger than I. And Lilli was five years younger than I was. I was the youngest.

Oh, they were two and a half years older?

Yes. I was the youngest. Lilli was five years older and Hedde was two and a half years older.

So were the three of you born in Berlin?

Yes.

I see that both your parents were born in Poland and all of you were born in Berlin so how did this happen? Did your parents meet in Poland or did they come to Berlin?

My father came as a 14 year old boy — about 14 or 15 years old — to Berlin.

Why?

Why? Because his family was a very orthodox Hasidic family. It was a Hasidic family with many children. Maybe 11 children or so and his father was very religious — he was sitting all day in the shul or synagogue, you know, and living there trying to make a living.

Doing what?

That’s a good question. I don’t know. (laughter) I don’t know. But that’s how it worked with Hasidic people, you know.

So he would just study all day?

He would study all day and his wife took care of business, I don’t know, and my father didn’t like the quality of life over there and he didn’t like the whole way of living. So when he was 14 he ran away as a matter of fact, from home. He ran away from home and he smuggled himself over the border to Germany. First he went to Paris — couldn’t make a living there and came to Poland. Then soon after that, he left again to Berlin and as a young boy he learned a trade. He became a furrier and since that time he stayed in Berlin, except he visited his parents, his family and he sent money over to them, you know.

Did his parents ever come to visit him?

No. No but he got his brothers over.

How many?

He got three of the brothers to Berlin but one came to work only, sent his money to his family and then after some years he moved back to Poland.

Was he a furrier too?

No, he wasn’t a furrier at all — he tried to make some kind of a living. This like a dream, you know. He looked very much like my father, I remember. We had pictures at home — I was maybe only five years old but the other two brothers stayed in Berlin.

So you never met your grandparents?

No, never met my grandparents. Andy died quite early.

And did your father make a good living in Berlin?

Yes, he made a good living. He became a furrier — he worked for himself. He had people working for him.

When you were growing up did you speak German at home?

Only German.

Did you parents speak Polish to each other?

Very seldom — once in a blue moon when they wanted to say something we shouldn’t hear but very, very seldom. My father spoke a little bit of Yiddish with his friends, only with his friends.

Not with your mother?

No.

I don’t think that my mother even spoke Yiddish. She spoke German and Polish she know a little bit.

How did you learn to speak Polish?

During the war when I came to Poland. No, I didn’t know it before.

How did your mother get to Berlin?

My father went back to look for a wife in Poland. (laughter) He picked her up in front of _____ and brought her back. And my mother was Polish educated in Czechoslovakia and also in _____. You spoke German and Polish. Not the border exactly of Germany but they spoke a lot of German there so she was educated more or less in German and Polish.

But she didn’t speak Polish when she got to Berlin?

No, not at all.

Your mother had three girls and worked in the house, or did she help your father out?

She helped sometimes my father out but she did not work much in the house also because we had a maid at home and we had like a nurse for the children.

Your mother had three girls all two and a half years apart and she took care of the house and had help and you girls went to school?

That’s right.

Did you all go to the same school?

I don’t know. Since my sister was older — it’s a good question.

What school did you go to?

I went to a German public school in the neighborhood and since Lilli was five years older she started to go to the high school. My middle sister got sick and she had to get our of school had a teacher at home.

A private tutor that your parents paid for?

Yes.

Were there other Jewish students at the school you went to?

Yes. But I went to a Christian school. Yes, and I had to leave in 1934 when Hitler.

Why did you have to leave when Hitler came in 1934?

Yes, in 1934. The teacher called me and took me on her lap and told me I’m very sorry but you have to leave the school because we are not allowed to keep Jewish children in the school.

So you were nine years old?

Yes.

How many Jewish student were there in the school and had to leave with you?

Quite a few.

So you all went to a Jewish school from there? Did you parents have to pay for this?

I don’t think so. I think it was a public Jewish school.

And what Lilli?

Lilli was five year older. She was already in a Jewish school.

She went to a Jewish school before this?

Yes, maybe earlier.

Was she forced to change schools or did your parents put her in a Jewish school?

Maybe they put her already in a Jewish school already.

So when you were nine years old you had to leave school German school and go to a Jewish school. Was there any difference between the two schools that you can remember?

In the Jewish school we had a different education.

In what way?

Hebrew. Everything else as in the public school except we had Hebrew and Jewish History.

Were you taught in German?

Yes. Sure.

And the same subjects but in a Jewish school. Were you taught Hebrew there?

Yes. Sure.

Had you ever been taught Hebrew before?

Oh yes. I went to private Hebrew school in the afternoons.

So when you were in German school, the government school, you were getting a Jewish education at the same time, after school?

Yes.

You rather, at this time, were they — before 1934, when you were taken out of public school. Were your parents religious people?

Oh yes. We were Orthodox.

Before 1934 were there Jewish schools available?

Oh yes.

How come you went to public school then, or did all Jewish kids do that and just go after school?

Yes, many of them did and then some went to Jewish schools.

Do you think the boys went to Jewish schools more than the girls?

Yes, but in the afternoon when we went there were boys, I remember, in class also.

Your parents were religious.

Oh yes, definitely. My father did not work on Shabbat. He did not work, he did not drive, we didn’t drive, he put all the money our in the evenings. You shouldn’t carry money in your pockets.

In 1934 you then went to a Jewish school. Aside from the fact that you got a Jewish education and learned Hebrew in the school, were there any difference that you can remember? Was the building as nice?

Yes, it was a nice school. Yes, nice building.

Same amount of equipment, books, everything was pretty much the same?

Yes, I think so.

When you were at the Jewish school did you sing the German national anthem? Did you remember any of that?

No, I don’t think we did.

Do you remember doing that in public school?

Yes, oh sure.

And you did that when you were…

We also said a prayer in the German school, but I didn’t remember — there was a certain prayer. I know that I walked out when we had religious lessons in the German school, when they their, you know…

You did, or all your friends did? What did you do?

Yes, it’s a good question. You know that, isn’t that something, I don’t remember what we did, if we were outside or we went somewhere into another place — we went into a different class, but we didn’t not have Jewish religion there.

You went next door?

Yes.

When you were in public school there were certain things that Jewish student did not take part in? did you ever feel that you were treated differently at all, aside from that particular class?

As soon as Hitler came it started to change. Sure.

About 1933?

Yes.

What changed? What did you notice as an eight year old girl in a public school in Berlin?

As it happened not even my teacher wasn’t too bad, it was more out in the street, outside.

What happened?

You know, they called you “Jew”.

In the playground?

So the friends turned away, you know. I had mostly Jewish friends as it happened.

Did you kind of cling together with your Jewish friends?

Yes.

But in the classroom, as far as instruction was concerned, you were treated the same way?

Not my teacher — my teacher was very nice. But I think other kids in other classes did get treated differently.

You think some of the Jewish student were not treated in the same way as the Christian students?

Yes.

I know you were very young but around the year before you left school, do you remember any discussion of the political situation in Germany or any discussion of Hitler or the changing political situation? Do you remember any of that being discussed in school?

Oh yes, in school it started already at that time. Yes.

About when do you remember starting to talk about that?

Very late

About 1933?

Yes, about, you know…

What do you remember?

There were also storybooks come about telling us that Jews were like mushrooms, you get the bad, the poison mushrooms. You look the same but they are not the same. Like poison mushrooms. You can’t (???)

In a book?

Yes.

Any other things you remember from the book?

That’s about it, you know.

Do you remember anything that nay teacher may have said, not only to Jewish, but the situation in Germany at the time? Do you remember anything?

I think we had to say “Heil Hitler” — that was a big change.

Do you remember any discussion about Hitler?

I do not remember that much, not at that time.

Were there pictures of him in the classrooms?

Yes, they were all over.

When you were in public school in Berlin, in German school, you do remember having to say “Heil Hitler” and the pictures of him and you do remember at least one book where Jews were described in a negative way.

Yes.

Any other memories?

Cartoons all over, not especially at the school, but cartoons about the Jews. Semitic look, you know, the long noses.

Where were these cartoons?

In newspapers, all over you know.

Were there billboards, signs on the street, or basically the newspapers? Do you remember seeing these newspapers in your home?

Yes.

And your parents. Do you remember any discussion at this time?

At this time when Hitler came, I remember vaguely the Germans marching around with a flag and going after people and when Hitler came to power because they’re Jewish, you know, they started already “dirty Jew”, “Rebecca”, “Sarah”, “Jacob” ,all the Jewish names.

So you were called names?

Yes.

Anything else?

Many times when I walked on the street the friends that had been my friends or neighbors, some of them called me “Sarah”, Rebecca”, you know.

How did they know you were Jewish?

Good question. They know, people knew.

Because you were known in the neighborhood?

Yes, in the neighborhood. Not because we looked different.

I am just wondering how you were identified.

You know, I guess they saw a Semitic face, they put two and two together.

You left public school and went to Jewish school. How did you feel about that change? Was it any different for you? Did you feel more comfortable there?

I felt very comfortable in that school.

Were you happier there?

Yes, I was quite happy. I was happier there.

Did you miss anything about going to public school?

No, no, it’s just the whole situation change the whole situation when you were outside, you know, you were more careful as a child, to stay away from the non-Jews because they might hit you.

They might hit you?

Yes.

We are talking about kids on the street?

Sure. Or anybody. Yes.

Adults?

Yes, adults, also.

Policeman?

Not especially policeman. I had — but this was later on — that a man hit me. He called me “Jew” and hit me across the face, but real bad.

About how old were you?

I was 13 or 14 years old.

What did you do?

My mother went with me to the police.

The German police?

German police, naturally.

And?

They shook their heads. “Sorry we can’t do anything about it”. That’s all. That was the end of it.

had you ever seen this person before?

It was a man. Not especially.

How do you think he knew you were Jewish?

That’s a good question. Probably maybe my looks, he thought that I was Jewish.

Did you know a lot of people in your neighborhood?

Yeah, maybe I didn’t know, but from seeing also — I was just a kid, I wasn’t interested in… I had my few friends.

I would like to go back a little bit before we go ahead to your mother.

Your mother was born in Poland and your dad went to Poland and found her and brought her back. Do you know anything about her parents?

I remember hearing that they were living more in the country and had a large, not like a farm, what do you call it, like a farm but they were not farmers. That’s what I heard that they were quite well off. Later on it changed.

Where was the farm?

The farm was in Dankowitz.

That was in Poland?

Yes.

Do you know whether your mother had brothers and sisters?

Yes, she had three sisters living in Czechoslovakia. She got married. She was the older sister. One brother was living in Hungary and a sister was living in Poland.

Why do you think all the children moved to different places?

I think to make a living. One sister want to Czechoslovakia probably because of her husband. What the reason was I don’t know. And the brother went to Hungary, I’m not sure.

Why did they leave the farm?

I’m sure Manny didn’t want to stay in a little town, you know, they rather went to the city.

So when they went to the city, what did they do for a living? The grandparents?

They had maybe — it’s a good question. Because farm life, they wanted to make a better living.

Did you ever meet them?

No. I didn’t meet any of my grandparents.

Did you meet any of your aunts and uncles?

I met one aunt and uncle from Bielsko Biala and that was during the war that already the German had marched, shortly before the Germans marched, they went to Russia, they started running away from Poland. I met them slightly, and the daughter also.

Do you know what happened to them?

I never heard from them. I don’t know if they were killed in Russia or not. I don’t know

And the children? Your cousins.

I don’t know either. I haven’t heard from any of them. My mother had another sister in Kraków, that’s why we came to Krakow. One more sister was living in Kraków, that’s why we came…

Krakow?

That’s in Poland. I made a mistake. My mother had three sisters, one brother. Now I have it right.

Good. Your parents were born in Dankowitz, is that correct?

My mother, it’s a good question if she was born in Dankowitz or if she was born in Chanow.

Now tell me about Bielsko Bialo. Who was it that was living there?

My aunts and uncles, that was my mother’s sisters and they had a clothing store in Krakow.

These are Krakauers. Is that a coincidence do you think or was that an old family name, do you know?

Yes, I think so.

You have no idea what has happened to any of your aunts or uncles or cousins on your mothers side?

They were in Kraków, they were sent away and they disappeared.

Going back to your father’s side. Your father had a large family, many brothers and sisters. You said they were 11?

Yes, they were all exterminated. Everyone was exterminated.

Did any of the children survive?

Yes, some cousins. I met them after the war.

In Germany, just for a short time before they went to Israel.

How many cousins do you have in Israel?

Now I have two.

How many did you have?

Wait a minute. There’s also one in Spain, that was my first cousin, my father’s brother.

Your one cousin went to Spain?

One went to Spain, the others went to Israel.

About how many went to Israel, do you think? How many aunts and how many uncles that you can remember on your father’s side?

On my father side? I don’t know exactly, I didn’t meet them.

How many do you think?

How many got to Israel?

None of them, only the children period

How many of the children?

How many of the cousins? Five.

Five cousins got to Israel?

Alex, from another brother. You never met Alex?

No, but I remember hearing about him.

He was in a concentration camp but he escaped, and in the beginning, not from the concentration camp it was Arbeitslager, a working camp. He got himself out and he smuggled himself to Hungary to Israel and he arrived in Israel and during the war he was in Israel. And after the war he came back to Europe, France most of the time.

Then there was Arno in Spain?

Yes. He and Alex left together and later on Arno married a Spanish woman and went to Spain.

Alex and Arno were brothers?

No, they were cousins. But since Arno was younger, so Alex took him under his wing.

Of the surviving cousins who went to Israel, where any of them brothers or sisters?

The ones I said before– how many did I say before? Five — they were all from one family.

The five cousins were all from one family?

And Alex and Arno were cousins to each other from different fathers.

So all in all from your father’s side, there were seven surviving first cousins. No aunts, no uncles?

No.

And your father had how many siblings, brothers and sisters?

As far as I know, without him, 10.

So there were 11 children in your father’s family? And to your knowledge, on your father’s side, there were seven cousin to survive, no aunts and uncles?

Yes.

If later on I wanted to ask you about each of these people, not today, would you be able to tell me something about their lives? Do you know about the lives of some of these– I know you know about Alex and Arno –if we went back at some other point would you be able to tell me about some of those five cousins in Israel?

Yes.

So, you are now nine years old, in 1934, you are in school and now that you are in a Jewish school, you don’t go to Hebrew school after school, you were just in school? What happens when you come home from school, what do you do?

I liked gymnastics.

So do you take gymnastics lessons or do you belong to club?

I belonged to a club Macabee.

So this is a Jewish club that you belong to for gymnastics?

Yes, in the neighborhood.

Do other of your friends do this?

Yes.

So you do this after school?

Yes.

Is there anything else you do after school?

Homework, you know. We came from school, it was quite late.

Any lessons? Piano lessons, art lessons?

I did not take anything else, any lessons, but I loved to draw. Art was my favorite. It was supposed to take it later on, you know.

So you didn’t really have to help your mother very much, because you had help, right?

Yes, but not later on.

We’re talking about 1934, after you had changed schools. We’re trying to get you to describe what your life was like. You had just changed schools. You’re nine years old. You belong to a gymnastics club. You go to school, you come home?

But don’t forget, I had already sisters at home. So I played with her sometimes. I went out with her for walks, you know, that was when she could walk.

What was wrong with her?

She had a heart condition.

So she had limited activity?

Very limited.

So you played with her a lot when you got home? You didn’t have chores, you didn’t have to clean up?

Ya, later on. I don’t remember exactly. I did things around the house a little bit too.

Would the family sit down for dinner at night, all together?

Oh, we all sat down together, but not at night, it was in the afternoon. It was the European– We had dinner in the afternoon. They were waiting for me to come home from school and then we sat down to eat together.

What about Hedde? Did she sit down at the table with you?

Yes. Unless when she was very sick. Then she was in bed.

In bed, and someone would bring the meal to her?

Yes.

So when the family sat down to eat, you would come home from school, have dinner, and then you would go back to school?

No, School was over. Late afternoon.

What did the family talk about at the dinner table? Was there any discussion about the political situation or what was happening to the Jews? Do you remember any conversations?

There were conversations but there were also business conversations.

Tell me about those kinds of conversations

We were talking, my mother was saying we should get out of Germany. My father said, no we cannot. First of all, we could not emigrate. The only place to go was Israel, where we were thinking of going to Israel. The climate was very bad, it would’ve been very bad for my sister.

Are we talking around 1934 now?

These conversations, because many of my father’s friends, and our friends, left for Israel because the situation looked very bad, especially for the Jewish people in Germany when Hitler came.

Were these people who left to go to Israel, did they have money? Did they have successful businesses or where they people who didn’t have very much money?

It’s a good question what you’re asking. Some people had businesses and they tried to sell it and get out. Naturally, those who have more money and to have relatives in the United States, many went to the United States if they could, England even many of them became, or were idealist Zionists and they wanted to go to Israel.

Zionists basically went to Israel. Everybody wanted to go someplace else? Where do you think people wanted to go if they had their choice?

Israel. Most of them that I knew, they wanted to go to Israel. They did not think of any other country but Israel. I mean our family. But also many of the others, they wanted to go to Israel.

Were your parents Zionists?

I don’t know how much of the Zionists they were but the children believed very much. We would have liked to go.

You would have been happy to go?

Yes.

So let’s get back to the dinner conversations.

Your mother would say what?

That we should get out. But my father was always very optimistic. He said, “it can’t be so bad. Hitler can’t– it can’t happen what we think would happen.” He did not believe it could happen.

What did your mother think might happen?

The way it looks, you know, that it would be very bad for Jewish people but nobody would have thought that something like that would happen– they would try to kill the Jewish people. But listen we have known from the Spanish Inquisition, right, what happened to Jewish people.

What do you think made your mother think that there might be some danger to your family? What do you think your mother thought could’ve happened to you as a family? What you think her fears were for her family?

Good question. She didn’t say especially but she said it would not be good for Jewish people here. Maybe she didn’t want to scare us, maybe. There is a possibility that she didn’t want us to feel scared to live in Germany. But my father really loved to live in Germany. He liked it very much. He sure didn’t want to go back to Poland.

What about your mother? Did she like Germany?

Yes. She liked it.

Do you think she liked it as much as your father did?

Maybe not as much but she liked living in Germany. We lived a comfortable life. But as Hitler came, it got worse also. My father didn’t do as well as before and we moved to a different apartment.

You said your father was optimistic. Was he an optimistic person in general?

Yes.

Was he in all parts of his life?

Yes.

A happy man in a very good way?

Yes, a very good way.

And your mother?

She was a worrier.

So you remember dinnertime conversations.

Don’t forget we had also– it was a hard life because my sister was sick, very sick, so we had dinner conversations about her.

What kind of conversations?

She got heart attacks constantly. We had to call the doctor constantly so it was really from day to day.

It would have been very complicated to try to leave?

Yes, it would have been very complicated.

And your mother really, I’m sure…

Yes, she had a very hard life because of my sister.

So we’re back to 1934 and you can remember these conversations at the dinner table. As a nine-year-old, as best as you can remember, did you sense anything bad happening around you?

You know what, yes and no, but if you have your parents and you have the love at home, you feel secure. That’s the most– a nine-year-old child– if you have a security at home, that is the most important thing. So I did not worry so much about it, not at nine years. Later on it was different.

So at nine years old, you were a pretty happy kid?

Yes.

Worried about your sister, of course.

Yes.

But you were aware that there was some danger.

Yes, there was a big change.

There was a big change. When was this big change?

It started in 1934 when I had to leave the school and maybe a little bit earlier.

What change did you sense before you had to leave the school?

The people also were different because you had outside on the street there were groups marching, the SS.

You remember seeing the SS?

Oh yes, the flags and singing.

Did they wear special armbands?

Sure, they had special uniforms.

Can you describe them?

Brown uniforms and then they started to wear armbands with the swastika. And then I also remember slightly, like in a dream, the Communists walking around.

Tell me about that.

I don’t remember too much but I remember, you know, them getting involved walking around and fighting. It looked like a fight but don’t forget at the time I was young and when anything was going on they didn’t let me out– my parents didn’t let me out.

What did you know about the Communists at that time?

They tried to come up also.

Did you see the Communists, did your family see the Communists as friends or enemies of the Jews?

It was very confusing at that time. To me anyway it was very confusing at that age. Don’t forget, at that time we did not talk as openly as we would do it now at this time with children. There were certain things that weren’t discussed where children were.

To get back to your being nine years old. Describe the streets of Berlin to me, what it was like for you to walk on the streets– some the things that happened on the street. You talked about seeing SS officers. Talk to me about the way they walked, why they were on the streets, did they talk to anybody, just talk about that a bit.

At that time, I’m trying to think, we took the subway to school and sometimes with the money we got for fare we walked home. Whenever we saw groups of people that were assembling or anything, we walked across the street, we walked together.

Tell me about the groups of people who were assembled. Who were they and why were they assembled?

You could see the different uniforms and they were assembling because they started at that time to organize and they took younger children, you know, they were recruiting kids.

They were SS groups that we’re doing this? And they were in uniform?

Yes.

About how many of these officers would be together at a time? Were there 10 or 15?

No, a few here and there.

About how many would you see when these groups were assembling recruiting?

Close to 10.

In uniform?

Yes.

And they would be assembled trying to get the other young people to join?

That’s right.

Do you remember what they would do to try and get other young people to join?

I don’t know. I didn’t pay as much attention because we were rather afraid so we moved away. We tried to get out of their way.

When you saw these groups assembled, were there a lot of people gathered around these officers?

Sometimes yes, sometimes not.

How many would you say would be the most you ever saw around?

At that time, around 10, 15. Sometimes five, you know.

So when you saw these groups of people, you would move away.

Yes, sure.

Because you at nine years old understood….

That there was something going on and we shouldn’t be on the streets too much when they were around.

Did you know that the danger had to do with your being Jewish?

Yes, definitely.

What else did you know about the gangs. Did you think that they might hurt you if you got close? In what way?

Yes. That they might hit us. We didn’t think that we would be killed at that time. I didn’t think this far.

Anything else that you remember about the streets of Berlin at this time? Were they different from what you had remembered from before?

I don’t think so.

How long did you stay in the Jewish school?

I think 1938, could be 1939.

You stayed in that school for about four years. Is that correct? Until you were about 13?

No, 14.

You spent approximately 4 years in the school. You told me what school was like when you got there when you were nine. How did it change over the four years that you were there? Did anything change in the school over those four years?

No, not really.

Where there any discussions about what was happening in Europe at that time in school. In the Jewish school, was there any discussion about the danger and how the situation had been changing?

Not really. I think they were afraid to talk about it.

So while you were in school, everything around you was normal.

Yes, in school.

And you just continued with your studies and Lilli at this time was in the gymnasium and you stayed there until 1938? Tell me about what was going on at home for you after 1934 you said your father’s business…

Things weren’t going as great as before.

Why is that?

Because the depression came and it wasn’t, you know, nobody did, that’s why Hitler came. That’s why he became so great because people didn’t have much to eat and didn’t have enough work and so that’s why he was able to be somebody, because people weren’t happy in Germany.

But when do you think your father started to notice a decline in his business, about what year?

About when my sister got very sick so that made a difference. I can’t remember when she got sick but I think that must have made a difference because tremendous doctor bills

You had to move?

Yes, we moved to a smaller apartment.

When was that?

Around the same time, maybe 1934. We moved a few times.

What was it like when you moved? Did the housekeeper and the nurse come with you when you moved?

Later on we were less …. Not allowed to have Germans working for Jews. In 1935 we had maybe a cleaning woman coming in.

Every day?

No, not every day.

Less often than before?

Yes, sure.

Up until 1934, did you live in an apartment or a house in Berlin?

An apartment.

And now in 1934, you moved to a smaller apartment?

Yes.

Was it much, much smaller?

Each one was a little bit smaller, yes.

We’re things changed when you moved?

Not for me. I didn’t feel it as much. I’m sure it must have been a big change for my parents. But us children, as I say, I had whatever I needed. We were clothed well, we were fed well, we had the love at home. So I’m sure that my parents felt it very much.

Did you and your sisters share rooms when you were living in the bigger apartment in Berlin? Did you each have your own room or did you share a bedroom?

We shared

The three of you?

Yes, we shared the room.

So when you move to a smaller apartment, you shared a room?

Do you remember when you moved to a smaller apartment talking to your sisters about the move and what was happening? Did you ever discuss what was happening in Germany and Europe with your sisters since you were all in a bedroom together? Did you chat about this?

Not at the time, I think altogether speaking, I had a very happy childhood.

Do you remember what you talked about? Sisters talk at night before they go to bed.

But then I also slept also later on with my parents in one bedroom. I was taken and I was in my parent’s bedroom and the two of them they were together in one room.

When was that?

That was later on in one of the apartments.

So when you were all in one bedroom together do you remember what you used to talk about?

I was very little, don’t forget, five years at the time was a big difference at this age.

Did Lilli kind of take care of you? Was she like a little mother?

No she didn’t but many times she had to take me along. For that she didn’t care too much but she was very affectionate. She always patted me and they played with me baby, I was the baby period

So you remember this time in your house as being very happy, very protected, and you don’t remember feeling deprived in anyway.

No, I didn’t feel deprived, no.

You just knew that there was some kind of danger out there but you weren’t really sure what it was?

Not when I was young, no

Jessica Gottlieb
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24 min
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2 cards

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