What effect did the Holocaust have on survivors' first language?
Between 1938 and 1939, 10,000 children between the ages of 2 and 17 were brought to England by charities and placed with English-speaking foster families.
We wanted to know how their age when they escaped and the amount of use they subsequently made of their first language (German) affected:
- the proficiency they then attained in their second language (English)
- the proficiency they retained in their first language (German)
200 oral history interviews were conducted with German-Jewish Holocaust survivors living in English-speaking countries and then analysed. Half of these interviews were in German and half in English.