Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Marton Adler - July 13, 1989

Emigration to America

You ultimately wound up in Detroit.

Yeah, well, ultimately I wound up in Detroit. Actually, all this time I really wanted to go to Israel. And uh, the plan was you, you gotta be ready in a moments notice, get your rucksack ready, an extra pair of shorts, whatever you had there the whole thing, small suitcase would fit in all my belongings and I had room left over. But then, it, till '47, they would take boats and they would try to smuggle them to Israel. And then in '47 already, it wasn't open. In other words, no more, you're not gonna take in any boats to Israel, you want to go, you end up in a concentration camp to Cypress. And what happened was, somebody encouraged me that there is a place in Rome, an address, if you're an orphan and you're under sixteen, you could register and they will send you to America if you don't have any relatives. I went there to register, and finally my visa came and before then I went to uh, they send me to France, perhaps Canada, I could immigrate to Canada, uh, I went to the Canadian counsel, they give you a certain test, if you are nervous, I had to spread my, and like this, I mean but now, they put a paper, and if the paper shook that means you're nervous so--being I was very anxious anyways, and that paper did shake. I failed the test so now I'm going to Australia. They gonna send me to Australia. They probably will send me. But the fact that I was registered in Italy to go to America, my number came up. They called up the people there from Joint Distribution Committee, Marton Adler can go to uh America. So here I am in France now, kept by a social worker and she tells me don't worry Canada don't want you, we'll send you to Australia. To me at the time, believe me, it make no difference. I could care if they sent me to the moon. And she calls me in, the social worker, she says "listen, your visa came in to go to the United States, how would you like to go to the United States?" I said, "I don't care." She says, "well, we think you'd be better off in the United States." I said, "fine." "We'll put you on a plane." That's in '47, late '47 around December. We'll put you on a plane or maybe even in January. We'll put you on a plane to Rome, first time I flew, from Paris to Rome. In Rome there will be a social worker waiting for you. If she is not there, here is enough car fare, take a train to Naples. That's where you got to report to the American Counsel. That's what happened. A social worker wasn't there, but in Italy, I was in Italy for two years. So in Italy I was more or less at home a little bit. I took a train to Naples from Rome and there I met my friend Jack. His visa came in too. So now we went together and we came to New York to like a reception center in New York, and from New York we went to Cleveland. There was an orphanage there, but also like a reception center. In Cleveland, they monitored, I mean these kids kept coming and they had it like set up where all over the United States, any family that wants to take care of boy in my situation, whether for pay or without pay, whatever. They will pay him, you know what I mean? And there was a family in Detroit that wanted to take us in--or had room for two boys and that's how we came to Detroit. Their name was Buchalter and I stayed there with my friend Jack then he wasn't too happy or whatever it was and then we split us up and I ended up at a ??? family. And Jack ended up with the Fisher family.

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