INT2: Can I just ask, when did you actually come? What year did you come?
INT2: So did you come under the Kindertransport?
LL: No, it’s ’36!
INT2: ’36 you came?
LL: ’36. I came later on again
INT: So, in Leamington Spa where did you stay and who with?
LL: [It] was very comfortable. It was, these people, it was their business to take students in to learn English
INT: Right OK, but when you say ‘these people’ – was this a family or was it an organization?
LL: Yes, a family
LL: A family
LL: In a good big house, very cold
INT: Where they Jewish people?
LL: No, no, no
INT: Or non-Jewish?
LL: Not Jewish
LL: Not Jewish
INT: And how did you feel when you were there?
LL: I adjusted very well. I tell you, a year later my sister came to the same people – she hated it!
INT: Right so she had a totally different experience?
LL: Yes. She was so constricted. I didn’t mind
INT: Ok so you were there you said for about 30 weeks?
LL: Yes I was there, I tell you, 3 x 10 weeks which is quite important. After 10 weeks you had to return to Germany. If you were away longer your passport was confiscated
LL: So I was there for 10 weeks, went there and came back. That was the reason why I didn’t stay on
INT: So you say you were there for 10 weeks and then after 10 weeks you went through to Birmingham?
INT: So you went back?
LL: Yes I had to otherwise the passport was taken
INT: OK, OK, so every time you went back to Germany and came back over again to England did your aunt bring you over?
LL: No, no, no
INT: Just the first time?
LL: Only the first time
INT: Right OK. So you were very young and you were travelling to another country
LL: Yes, yes
INT: With a foreign language
LL: But we all were
INT: Yes, OK. So you said that you were 16 at this time and then what happened between the age of 16 and 26 when you met your husband?
LL: I can tell you exactly. When I went back to Germany in 1937 (after a year) I stayed with my parents but then I went to Geneva to do a course in maternity nursing which lasted a year. Now I was coming on for 18 and I’m back in Germany and my sister was also in Germany (she was still going to school) and our Rabbi, with whom we were on very good terms (a very modern man), he came one Saturday afternoon to our house and said ‘Is your sister in?’ ‘Yes?’ ‘She has to leave this address immediately because the police are after her’ ‘Why? What is the matter?’ And this Rabbi told me. A Jewish boy was travelling from Germany to Holland and this all was very strict and he was investigated. And they found a diary And they found in this diary that he had a close affair with my sister. But she was underage.
INT: How old was your sister at that time?
LL: 16, a beautiful, beautiful girl. So this was not supposed to be done, obviously not. So immediately after the Rabbi’s advice, got her out of the house as far as to friends in Cologne, then in case the police came we could say ‘She’s not in!’ End of story. She never came back from Cologne; she went straight to England – to London. And then my parents decided that I better also go to London because they did not want her to roam about alone in London. So then we were both together in London.
INT: OK so you joined her in London
INT: And what happened with your sister?
LL: My mother came to London early in September ’39, just before the war – in August. The war broke out on the 3rd of September. She came to London in August with a view to buying a big house to be able to rent out as bed and breakfast. Again that was something you could do without a permit and my father would have some kind of occupation doing the books or whatever. Now in the late days of August there war was hanging over us and you couldn’t possibly buy a house- you didn’t do that. So my mother and my sister, we were in London. My father was in Holland and my father kept on writing and phoning- my mother ‘should come back because of the threat of war’.
The next thing my father said, would she bring my sister back as well? And they left London the day war broke out; on the 3rd of September at 10 O’clock. War was declared at 11 o‘clock and the first air raid alarm was at 12 o‘clock.
The day war broke out; on the 3rd of September at 10 O’clock. War was declared at 11 o‘clock and the first air raid alarm was at 12 o‘clock. So, on that very day I met my husband at a friend’s house. Very strange, this friend who I had known for donkeys’ years phoned me up and said ‘Look, I’m giving a sand filling, sand-bag filling party’. The government came round with big vans and deposited sand every 30 yards in bags because we now needed to protect England. He said ‘Come along’
And I went to him. He was also in a bed and breakfast, like we all were. But we were all doing our bit and we filled sand bags and my future husband happened to be there, so we met. Now the sand bags were really very funny.
LL: The first, after the first heavy rain the sand bags all burst and London was a sea of sand. You can’t imagine! You have no idea. That day I met my husband there. I met two gentlemen – him and a close friend of his and we kind of kept seeing each other and he immediately joined the army, my husband. His brother was a doctor and he was already a British subject so for him it was obvious for him to join up immediately
INT: Where had your husband come from originally?
LL: And so, my husband joined the army and that was that. Whenever he came on leave he saw me and I became friendly with his brother, it was, they were all refugees. So that is how I met him and we got married immediately after the war. He was de-mobbed from Belgium in October/ November but my divorce was not fully through yet, you had to wait 6 months. Anyhow we got married in March then and that is when I came to Scotland