Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irving Altus - June 2, 1982


How long were you in Germany?

I had good in Germany. Well I have to tell you, you know, then I went back to Pol...I-- let's, let's talk, I did some business.


And uh, you know kosher what means.


But, you know, so I did some business legally. And uh, somebody told me again that, another you know, girl--people from my own town was alive and I wanted to know who. I went to Poland, they told me that my wife is someplace. Some other people are here from my town which they came back from Russia. Not--because whoever was in concentration camp I knew pretty well who is alive. But later on some more people came from Russia, which they lived through. Older people, people with families, all families came back. Not a lot, but better than to, the Germans did. And I met my wife in Pol...this was in--I went back to Pol...I was already in Munich and I came to Poland, was it at the end of '45 or in '46?

Wife: ???

About this, after a few months. End of '45 and I met her. And I knew my wife. I'm six years older. When I was sixteen she was ten. So I don't know how well she knew me. She knew me, who I, but I knew her better. You know, because of my, I know, you know, the things, her family and I knew everybody. And I went to see her and I couldn't stay long there. And I said, "I don't know if you want to come to Germany and maybe you'll better yourself, you know, we didn't talk about nothing, you know, too--"and if you need money, I had money, if you need money I can leave you some money to come to Germany and thing. See what you can do." I left her address and the thing. "You can come anytime, day or night, anytime you please and whatever." And I think a few months later a friend of mine did give her the money and she did came to Munich. And I met her there and we got married just by the rabbi.

How long did you know each other?

Well, approx...

I mean how long was your....

After the war, maybe a, a year.

It was a year after...

Wife: A few months.

A few--no, but after the...When I was--I came in '45.

Wife: You came at the end of '45.


Wife: we got married in '46.

No, so I figure maybe a year. I don't know, okay. Half a year. A half a year? I'll please you, you say, a half, a half.

Wife: At that time everybody was looking for somebody.

I was alone, she was alone, nobody's left from her family. So what we're going to do? So like I say, either we'll go to Israel. But before....

You were never planning on staying in Munich.

Never. Like I said before, I did not want to be in Europe, period, anyplace.

Despite the fact that you were making money and it was whatever.

I had a car, I mean, everything was very good you know, beautiful. Despite everything, I didn't want to be there. And I remembered the address from my aunt. All those years. Because I used to write in Jewish letters to my aunt from my mother. And I remembered and I wrote a few words and the address was right. She did receive my letter. And they start sending us packages, you know.

She was, I'm sure, surprised...


...to hear from you.

This was--yeah. So but, yeah--so I got in touch with my aunt and the whole family. In the meantime--this was one thing--and they start making papers. In the meantime we start doing things here. I got married and you know, it, it didn't go so fast, the papers and everything from America. So okay, we got married. And I, and it took a whole year and still didn't get papers. And we had one child, our older son in Germany. And then I did get the papers. So my aunt didn't know that I got married. I got the papers just for me, so I sent back the papers say I have a wife. So she sent back papers for me and my wife. By the time the papers came I had a son. This was...

[interruption in interview]

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