Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ella Baker - May 11, 2011

Going Home

Wait a minute, you went back home, to your, your hometown to, um...

Yes, I went to my, my hometown and I didn't find the home is home. People, who I went to even, even to school with or whatever. And I thought that I, I gonna, I gonna settle I didn't have no family or anything.


So I knew how to sew and I gonna make a living and they told me where my sewing machine is. They refused to give it, that was the Hungarian ethnics.

The Hungarian ethnics.

Yeah, exactly, exactly. They done everything they could do what they couldn't do on the Czechoslovakian government.

Mm-hm, got it.

Yeah so, then packed and ready was closing their borders because the part was a, a border city with a big railroad that the ???, was a big railroad station.

Mm-hm, mm-hm.

And so they annexed it.


To be Ukraine and so, but you could go on to Slovakia or the Czech Republic if you stated that just really that you are stuck.


And I forged the document, the registration document that, I had nothing to lose.


So later the C and G was very easy, but the corner of the ink was different but they didn't noticed. So I, I, I let, I left that part I have nothing, nothing to go on, not a friends, nothing at, at all. Went, went away up to the Sude10land, up to the Czech Republic to the, to the German border.

So the C for Czechoslovakia became a G for German, Germany?

No, G, G this is the name uh, this is the name of a Slovakian town stating I am from there.


But I forged it.


Yeah uh, so the Cop became Ukraine, they annexed it. And ??? was a Slovakian town. So, Cop was a C so I just made a line and became a G, you know, yeah.

Mm-hm, okay.

So uh, then up there the Sudetenland, this is the borders of Germany, there was lots of German who left, who left voluntarily and some of them was just expelled, the Czechs expelled them, making space for us.


You know.


Oh yeah, there's lots of things there.

Okay so, how did you get a, a, you got to a chance to go to Israel in '48?

Yes, in that it was already '49, but a few months later as the--and then, I didn't, the water was rati1d drinking water, was rati1d and there was nothing there and you know that, and look at them now. But never the less, it was nothing there and I, I slept uh, and there was just tents and then I had the cousin who was in Palestine...


With his family, I stayed and slept in a park on a bench and I asked myself how come I am happy? I had actually another communist system fur, the gold it was the black market. And we were part of it, everybody. So I have materialistically everything...


Here, but freedom.


And being a Jewish person was another things. And so, I have realized, learned about myself that what makes me tick is freedom.


I was free and I needed nothing else. I was happy, I was happy with materialistically nothing, but I was free, I was breathing free. And then I discovered my true identity, which I am not observant but I was so happy to see that in Tel Aviv and the Shabbat services, there all disclosed. I says this is all mine, it's for me, I matter, you know.


And it is, I discovered really my, my true uh, my true identity. And treasuring it, I knew my identity, but treasured.

Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh. So how long were you in Israel for?

8 years.

8 years, wow.

And the wars chased me away. Each time there was a 2, 3 day war and the war ended I didn't want to go anymore. But I have--because uh, I, I really didn't want to leave and I didn't have an air condition and I didn't have a fridgerator, this or that, but I didn't want to go.


And but, then the last war was the, the Suez. The war in...




In '56 and uh, and my papers were ready unknown not, people I never have met in the United States that was provided me an affidavit legally to come here. And they had to renew it all the time and they didn't complain, but in my mind they needed a lawyer, they needed ah ???, they had to be straight, squeaky clean, you know...


To sponsor me and I says I cannot do this anymore to them. The papers were ready and the Suez war, which 1 was a pretty, I think it was 6 days or whatever. And uh, and then it stopped, but then I was, I says I just gonna go this time and my heart was breaking.


But a war I always saw myself in an Arab camp, in an Arab Nazi camp, when the wars, you know. When they attack us what were we, you know, the first 1 they were fighting with making noises with the pot covers and things like that and this is the gods truth, you know, has nothing.


Is, is, is a, is a, is a country of miracles.

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