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Oral history interview with Vera Ray

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1996.A.0586.28 | RG Number: RG-50.407.0028

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    Oral history interview with Vera Ray


    Interview Summary
    Vera Ray, born December 10, 1932 in Orlová, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) near Ostrava, discusses her parents Yelena and Heinrich Silbiner (later changed to Silvan); how her father’s real name not used for 53 years and is unknown; being raised in a middle class family; her father’s work as a watchmaker and mother’s work as a teacher of piano and languages; being an only child; the loss of her paternal grandmother and five of her father’s seven siblings in the Holocaust; her father’s efforts to smuggle Jews out of Ostrava circa 1938; how her family appears to be the only survivors from Ostrava; leaving Czechoslovakia in 1939 and going to Kraków, Poland, avoiding air raids along the way; moving to Korets', Ukraine and living there until 1941; moving to Ulyanov (Ul'ianovsk), Russia circa 1941 and later to Alma Ata, Kazakhstan; the end of the war and moving with her family to Bucharest, Romania and later to Prague, Czech Republic; her parents’ decision to become nondenominational so as to avoid antisemitism; her family’s immigration to Australia in 1948 via Egypt, where they spent several months in a tent camp before moving on to Australia; getting married circa 1952 to a Czech camp survivor and later divorcing him; her two children, who are not particularly interested in Judaism; and coming out as a lesbian.
    Vera Ray
    Pauline Rockman
    interview:  1996 January 24

    Physical Details

    1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Restrictions on use. Restrictions may exist. Contact the Museum for further information:

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Ray, Vera, 1932-

    Administrative Notes

    Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research Centre conducted the interview on January 24, 1996, in Melbourne, Australia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum acquired the tape of the interview in July 1996.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:29:11
    This page:

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