Life in England

"they knew I was a refugee at school"
Anonymous Survivor



"I was definitely a good deed as far as my foster mother was concerned, taking me in; she would boast about it at the church, show me off, "This is my little Czech refugee". "Yes, her mother will be coming over", this kind of thing. I was sort of on display in that way. They were people… they were really the tail end of the Victorian era; they were people who had been brought up in exceptionally strict homes, where sin loomed large, and sin loomed large in the home that they brought up their three children and me. They were people who did not enjoy children, or rather they enjoyed boasting about their children but not actually bringing them up; they always had nannies and maids. In fact my foster mother I'm afraid was a quite appalling person. They knew I was a refugee at school. I loathed pity, you know, the way people would talk about me, "Poor thing, we don't know where her parents are", this kind of thing. I loathed it. I detested the whole business of being a refugee. But as far as my own age group was concerned, they were quite… I mean they were neutral, they treated me like another friend. In fact I was, if anybody was, domineering I was. You know how children, particularly at a nasty age like sort of ten and eleven, tend to be quite nasty to each other. Nobody was nasty to me; if anybody was nasty I was. I can't ever say I was badly treated at school."


Born 1932, Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Kindertransport to England 1939. Fostered. 1966 moved to Canada, moved back to England 1986. Married, three children.