Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Biegun - August 10, 1983

Life in Israel

So, in '49 then, you went to Israel?


What was that trip like?

Oh, a lots of people on the ship. It was a big ship.

Do you remember the name of the ship?

Ah, I think it was ??? I don't know, I forgot. Before, you remember, I told you...

You told me beforehand.

Yeah, now I...

That's all right. It will come to you.

It will come to me, yeah.

This crowded ship...

Oh yeah, there was a lots of people from a lots of camps.

Anybody you knew on the ship?

Well, my husband came with me on the same ship. But we were young, I mean, you know, you look, you talk, but I was young.

You were what, twelve years old?

Yeah, he was seventeen. He's five years older than I am.

When you arrived in Israel--your husband's also, survived the...

Yeah, he comes from Pinsk.

Maybe we'll talk to him next. [laughing]


When you got to Israel, you went into a camp.


How were you greeted there?

I mean, they brought us food, everything, I mean, they were nice, but we were still in a camp, and it was still shocking we here, we still in a camp. In the night, we couldn't go out because it was still '49, you know, we had to be careful. It was still with the Arabs and stuff like that, I suppose. We were scared. We shouldn't get lost. You know, we could get...

What's the first thing you remember about coming off the ship? What did they do? What was the procedure?

I mean, it was a good feeling. They speak Hebrew and Yiddish to you. You feel that, you know, you are home.

Your home.

Homeland. I mean I took, you know, in, in the three years in Germany in school, they teached us about it, you know. That's the Israel land, the holy land, you know, ??? you know, and from the booking and schooling you got there, and everybody, you know, singing in delight, and you know, here is, oh, we're in Israel. It felt like at home.

Did you feel--were you aware of feeling different for your first time in your life than any?

Yeah, I felt secure there.

Yeah. Did anybody talk to you about your experiences in the war?


What did they--how did they then go about you, before, before you got settled in the barracks, what did they do?

Nothing. They didn't ask too much where you come or stuff like that. Maybe they asked the auntie and uncle, but not the children, you know. Put us in ??? schooling, and that's all. Then they shift us to another camp, and then we were in little barracks, you know, little shacks they give us, and the men worked, you know. I went to school. Mine auntie and uncle, and cousin--no the cousin went to school too then he worked. He was in the army later on. He worked, and he saved the money, buy himself a house, a small house, you know, you know, like a house in Oak Park, something like that.

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