INT: So when you were evacuated, did you all stay in a big school together or did you stay with people?
KR: No, we were, my whole class were loaded into a lorry and …
PR: You went by train and then lorry.
PR: You went by train and then from the station, is that right?
KR: No, into a lorry and then the lorry stopped in the street and people came to select, they had to take evacuees you see and selected the evacuees and quite a lot of people wanted my sister who was a very neat little thing, but my father had said you must not allow yourselves to be separated. So I always said no, we are together [laughter].
INT: You get one and you get to take the other too.
INT: So did you eventually persuade somebody to take the set?
KE: Well, eventually we were still left and a nice young girl said a woman couldn’t come, but she asked me to find her some evacuees and so she really wanted one, but I said well, so she took both of us. And then she was all right, but then we were delivered to our so-called foster parents and they thought we were, he examined us as though we were Germans in disguise and …
INT: Well, you were German, I suppose [laughter].
KR: Yes, we were kind of and they were horrible, they were really horrible.
INT: Because you were German?
KR: Yes and they really only wanted one, but the girl had brought us both, so it was a single bed and it was impossible to both lie on the same side, so one slept top and one bottom. But we had to change quickly in the mornings before they came in because they didn’t allow that and then when the air raid came they used to take Lotte who was still, you know, younger, into bed with them and I had to stand against the wall during the air raid.
INT: How much younger was she than you?
KR: Three and a half years.
INT: You must have felt a bit angry about that I would imagine?
KR: Oh, I was furious yes, but I mean, what could I do?
PR: Didn’t he command you to pray?
KR: Oh yes.
INT: Was that the way to protect yourself then?
INT: And did they know you were Jewish as well as German?
KR: I can’t remember, yes, well, I don’t know, I can’t remember that.
PR: It certainly didn’t
KR: It didn’t matter, no.
PR: I think they fed you sausages and [laughter].
KR: Oh, God, yes. The dripping toast we used to get in the morning, fried toast.
INT: You’d never seen anything like that I suppose in Germany?
KR: And some funny sausages, which I hated and I used to put them in my knickers with the elastic and used to put them in there and then get rid of it.
INT: So how long did you live there, do you remember?
INT: How long were you there for?
KR: Well, wait a minute now. Well, we didn’t, no, we didn’t stay with that family long because I went to the headmistress and said and complained, you know.
INT: Good for you.
KR: She was very good, she was a very good headmistress.
PR: You also took Lotte to the doctor I think?
KR: Oh, yes, that’s right. She had a terrible cough and this woman sent her to school, she wouldn’t let her stay in bed or anything. So I, I got into trouble for it, but I skipped school and instead took her to the doctor who was amazed to see two little girls come to see him, you know. But he was very good and he said that she has to stay in bed, so the woman was very cross with me for having taken her to the doctor, but she had to do that. Oh yes, and all this sort of tension, excitement, I started wetting my pants and then I used to lock myself in the bathroom and wash them and they were these awful pants in those days, all woolly hard to dry. And she used to bang on the door, [shouting] What are you doing? What are you doing? as though I was planning some underground escape or something.
INT: And did you get away quite soon from this family? What happened, were you sent back to London?
KR: Yeah, we told the headmistress, I told the headmistress and then an awfully nice lady came to see us and saw to it that we were moved and then we came to the doctor’s family, the Salmons who become really a second home. I had a big garden, a big house and the daughter was grown up and the mother said.., Oh yes, she’d had to escape from Spain or something where she had her fiancé and she was at loose ends. So the mother said then, ‘…okay you look after them’, so she did and we had a very, very nice time. I mean they were very good and there was a maid who I think resented having the extra work.
INT: Were you then sent back to your aunt and uncle in London during the war or did you spend the whole of the war as an evacuee?
KR: Yes, as an evacuee.
KR: In the meantime my uncle died and we never went there to live again.