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15 October 2014
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The only Jewish girl in the school

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Helen Kaye
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Contributed on: 
03 August 2005

I was evacuated with the school, it was a girls school and we were in the same building as the local children, but the education was kept separate. We were educated from our side and they were from theirs, but we shared the building. We all got on very well, it was very nice indeed. My brother, meanwhile, didn’t want to become the only member — it was bad enough travelling with all the girls — he wasn’t going to be the only member of the girls’ school. He joined the local school there for the local children and we were all very happy. He and I looked after each other — we both had very good homes. We had no grumbles on that score at all.

The teachers came with us, they were nuns, it was a Catholic school, they were nuns and it was quite interesting really because I was born of Jewish parents, so I was the only Jewish girl in the school, so you can imagine. I think they spoilt me a bit. My mother was a bit worried that I might be converted, but there was no danger of that whatsoever. When the war had started, and people were getting killed, I didn’t believe in God or anything else, so religion didn’t come into it. But my roots were Jewish, and nothing will ever change that. So that was how we started the war years. That was the education, which was excellent. I didn’t see my parents all that often. They came down to Wales when they could to see us. But we coped… we coped.

This story was submitted to the People's War site by volunteer Sue Craig on behalf of Helen Kaye, and has been added to the site with her permission. Helen fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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