A few days later I was put on the train to join my parents in Vienna. Although I had always enjoyed Vienna when my parents used to take me, I was frightened and disheartened to see the swastikas everywhere: flags on buildings, in the streets, and on Nazi pins worn by men and women. What had happened to the cultured, sophisticated Austrians? They turned out to be more reactionary and fanatic than the Germans! For when the Germans marched into Vienna they were received with flowers and open arms. It was no "invasion" as they claimed later. The salute "Heil Hitler" was on many lips.
My parents had rented a room in the apartment of another Jewish family. It was near where my mother's youngest sister, Franzi, lived with her husband and her daughter Uti, whom I loved dearly. Yet I found no joy or peace there. Our apartment was situated just below some Nazi offices, and I was frightened to death every time I heard the booted steps stomping up and down the stairs. I woke up crying out every night.