Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irving Altus - June 2, 1982

Relatives in Detroit

How did you find him?

I didn't. I knew they are in Detroit. So my, my aunt and I told her what's about the ones in, in Detroit. One brother and I want to see the cousins because his brother, the cousin which I came to Munich this was his parents. They left to America with two sons. They could not take him. So he wind up with Hitler in Auschwitz...

And he survived...

...but he survived.

Did he come also?

He came after me. But, so, but this is what I want to tell you. So I said to my aunt, I have to see my cousin or talk to him. I want to tell him about his brother. He's still in Germany. Why he's not bringing them over and thing. I'm already here through my aunt and this is a brother. So it's again--so they called up and I talked to my cousin and he says he want to see me. I told him about his brother and everything, but--you know...

Did they know?

They knew me. I...

Did they know the brother though was still, they knew the brother was still alive?

I think yeah, yeah, they used to send them yeah, they already knew because in '49--'45, sure they knew. But I don't remember why they couldn't bring him over. And he got married there, like I say and a kid. I don't know the reason, really. But I did want to talk about the brother and thing. And they really wanted to see me and everything. So they told me on the phone and then they talked to my, my cousin is going to send me two tickets by train. Not for me and my wife. A round trip for me to come to Detroit and to go back, because you know, he had a few money, I didn't. But first he asked me if I would make the trip, do I want to come. I say, "I just happen--I just got a job a week ago..." or something, and, "what should I do?" The guy's uh, going to throw me out, where I--he said to me "You come Friday and you'll go back Sunday night." And to really, it wouldn't, you know. So I told the guy that I'm taking off the Saturday, the half a day. I do want to go and see my family and the thing. So really he's not losing nothing Saturday and I'll be back. And this took a little while and then he says let me see what I can do for you here. I didn't speak English or nothing, I mean. But look, my aunt took me to the train, go on the train, he'll wait for me so you don't have to talk. You don't have to do nothing. One go to put you on the train, somebody going to pick you up like a package. And I came to Detroit, he was there, I came in and fine. I knew him--me you know, beautiful happy occasion time to talk, everything. Told him the whole story.

This is your cousin, not your uncle.

No, this is my cousin. The uncle, in the end I never saw him. He were not alive when I came here. Just my cousin.

And how old was he when you last saw him?

He--who, my uncle?

The cousin.

The cousin's, well he died about five years ago. He was here.

No, I mean when, when you saw him in Poland, how old was he?

This is an...

Did you know him then?

This is another one. He was in America, not...

You never met him before the war.

Before, I remember. I was a child when he left. His father left because he didn't want to go to the army. I never knew his father. My uncle I never saw.

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