Eva talks about her first experiences of life in Glasgow. She describes the delight she experienced when she and her family celebrated their first Friday night in a free country.
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INT: Ah, no, what I meant had you had your other children? Were your other children born in Scotland?
E.S: No my daughter born here, in Scotland.
INT: Ah right.
E.S: She was born here in Scotland, yes, a few years after we came.
INT: What year was that?
E.S: ‘65, 1965. 13th of July we arrived. It was a Tuesday. They came to the airport, Max, we didn’t know him before.
So they took us to Mrs Wolfe’s and then Jack Barman said that, in Yiddish we could talk, you know. Luckily we could talk. Because we had nothing; we had the house but we had nothing. We couldn’t bring anything.
So he said, ‘Tomorrow, 9 o’clock I come for you and then you make a list what you need’. And they took us to warehouse and the Goldbergs. And I was up with my daughter Aggie, who was eleven, all night and we made a list. I’ve still got my little notebook, what we need for a new life.
Dishes, milk, meat, and then cutlery and then everything and bedclothes and covers…you know we had nothing…towels, you know.
So we made a list and then we bought everything what we need and then we had no money at that time but we paid off, you know, I don’t know two or three years, I think. They took a little bit off all the time, the Queens Park, you know, they paid for us. And then it was Wednesday, and Thursday we went to the house; they took us to the house and the goods arrived, everything arrived on Thursday.
And I remember Jack taught me how to make a bed in Scotland because we didn’t have blankets.
INT: What did you have? You had a duvet?
E.S: We had duvets so I didn’t know how to make a sheet, you know, but he was nice. And then the goods arrived and then after he took us to Morrisons [the Kosher Deli] and the kosher butchers and then we shopped and it was Thursday. And Friday night was my first Friday night I had. I cooked. I baked. I have a picture somewhere and we were sitting in my beautiful big dining room.
Somebody…Max gave me two candlesticks, not very nice but it was something, you know.
And then my husband went to Shul to daven, the first service and then came home and I had the candles lit, everything ready. So it was such a happy…
INT: Oh that’s lovely.
E.S: Happy day. And then I should say since that we never looked back really, never looked back.
But we couldn’t go home for seventeen years because if you would go back they would put us to jail because we left the country. And then three of us started to learn English [before they left Hungary]. But my husband just dropped out and Agnes had to go to school. We didn’t want to force her very much; we didn’t want to know at all, you know. She confessed later that it was a very difficult situation, Agnes, because in the school she was not allowed to say that she is Jewish and she go to school and we took her to the Cheder every Sunday morning, it was the Cheder, you know. So she was not allowed to tell about this, you know. As a young child it was very hard on her.
INT: Very hard.
E.S: Really, really very hard. But I thank God at the end we managed to get here and I start a free life, you know.
INT: Did you go to the opera here?
E.S …always free tickets so every week we went to the opera. Once a week.
INT: And did your husband miss being an opera singer?
E.S: He was still singing opera concerts here, you know, He was always singing.