Joyce began the interview by explaining the pre-war period. Joyce Kleinman was born to a beautiful home in Czechoslovakia on September 12, 1925. Although some discrimination was present, no significantly harmful acts were conducted against the Jewish community. All races could eat wherever they pleased, and all children were schooled together, explained Joyce. The discrimination arose in 1939, when World War II began in Poland. At this time, Joyce was 11 years old and Reisi was 14. Joyce explained how the two girls would often hear sirens outside their windows along with shootings as the war raged on. They would hear planes flying over the roof of their house, and they were not able to open their windows for fresh air because of the terrifying noise. Jews were no longer allowed at school, and all of the Jews were one day required to go down to the police station. Because Joyce and Reisi’s father was a well-respected man within the community, the police let them leave.
As their days were limited in Czechoslovakia, Joyce and her family left all of their belongings and fled to Budapest, where their brother lived and was planning to get married. Joyce explained that the family returned to their hometown in Czechoslovakia as thi...
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...tation center in the town of Bergen. Joyce still had the pictures of her family in the soles of her shoes, providing her the only motivation to live. Bergen served as a camp that the Red Cross had opened up for prisoners and most people brought there would die, since they were too sick to eat. Joyce was close to giving up until she saw a woman who looked very familiar. Joyce was timid and questioned herself regarding whether she should ask who the lady was. She said, “Lady, excuse me, do I know you? Where do I know you? You look very familiar.” This lady coincidently happened to be her sister Reisi, who instantly fainted when she looked down at Joyce. Joyce, who weighed only 50 pounds, soon gained her strength back through Reisi’s care. The interview then ended with Joyce pointing at her sister and saying, “If not her, forget it. Without her, I would be dead.”
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