Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irving Altus - June 2, 1982


Not just your family.

No, no, no. From my city, like uh, being with my friends and things. But if you didn't have anybody overseas, it, it was no dream that you can go.

Was that more for economic reasons than...

In most economics. Both.

...rather than anti-Semitism?

I would say both--no--both, both. It was very, a very poor little city. Very poor. You didn't have much of a chance.

What went on in that city? You say there were 6,000 Jews, how many people were there in total in the city would you guess?

I think uh, it was about thirty some thousand people, with the suburb, you know. Very little town but you know, it was spread out.

Was it...

The Jews used to be in--together.

Was it more agricultural


...or was it commercial,

The more...


No, no industrial.

What was the main source of...

We had one factory which they used to make um, the sugar factory. And the rest, like you say, agriculture. Was no other industry.


A, a couple um, uh, what you call--I don't know in English if it's maize, what you call it uh. Grinding the corn from...

Yeah, I don't know, maybe grist mills or something.

Something like this, like, yeah. A couple big one. But no industry.

Were any...

No factories.

Were any of those mills or um, that or that one factory owned by Jews?

There two mills by Jews. The sugar factory was a big factory. No Jews. No Jews. I don't even think any Jew worked there. I don't think so. But in the mills yes, because they belong to Jews.

How many people do you know now from your city, from the whole city?

Here in Detroit I think we are maybe ten.

D...do you have any idea how many survived from the city after, like the, the total?

Wife: ???

Quite a few from a few thousand. Yeah, even--how much do you think would be a few? I mean, what do you think, a hundred?

Wife: Could be a hundred.

A hundred out of 6,000.

So that's--I didn't want to say quite a few. It's nothing.

Mm hm.

A hundred.

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