My Hidden Mother
As a Jewish child born in Slovakia in 1930, my mother would never have a history that could be remembered in any sort of comfort. By the time she reached her teens, concealment had become essential for survival. Teasing out the details all these years later has challenged us both.
This biography covers a period of twenty-five years, starting with my mother’s happy childhood in a comfortable and cultured home in pre-war Bratislava. Her life is destroyed with the inexorable rise of anti-Semitism; her family are deported to death camps while she is hidden in desperate conditions in an orphanage. When at last the war comes to an end, she comes out of hiding, only to be faced with the deep sadness of the loss of so much of her family.
She leaves Slovakia for good, flying to England in an RAF bomber with other orphaned children, none of whom speaks any English. And then, bit by bit, she rebuilds her shattered life. Eventually she realises how important it is that future generations are told what really happened. This is where I come in, and this is her story.
Published: 29 September 2015