Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Samuel Biegun - February 13, 1983

Smuggling to Israel

So you smuggled out of Poland...

Yes.

...to where?

To Berlin.

Straight to Berlin.

Yeah, in the camps there.

To a displaced persons camp.

Yes.

Your whole family together.

Well, the parents were--yeah, we were together but the parents were in a separate department, we were where the children are. They separated us. But you couldn't--we could see each other. So we were there until the blockade.

'Til the blockade in '48...

'Til the blockade in '48 and we transferred to another, to ??? like uh, near Bavaria. And uh, some of my friends that they used to be with them, they wind up on Exodus. I almost wind up but I didn't want to separate from my parents, so I stayed behind.

Hmm, how did, how did that happen? You almost ended up on the boat to Palestine.

Yes, because we were in a, in a children's--all the children were here, you know, like Zionist groups. And uh, most of them, where I was, you know, they wind up on Exodus. But I didn't want to separate from my parents. I always wanted to stay close to the parents, because the parents couldn't go together with us, so.

How were these people put on the ship? How, how did they make it to the ship from, from the camp?

In Germany, you mean?

Yeah, the ship was an illegal ship, wasn't it?

Yes.

How did they...

Well, they took 'em to Hamburg.

They took the children to Hamburg.

Yes, they put 'em on a boat. It was a few boats, you know, the Exodus. And then they tried to smuggle them to Palestine and start Israel. So then, you know what happened to Exodus. They sent 'em back.

They came back to the displaced persons scamp.

Yes.

Didn't some of them go to Cyprus?

No. It was a different story. But the, the boat--they came from Hamburg and then they took 'em back to Hamburg.

Was there a lot of talk about going to Israel among the people in the displaced persons camp?

Oh yeah, yeah. Say ninety percent maybe, ninety-nine percent.

What were the...

Stop it.

What were the conditions like in the displaced person camp?

Uh, they were very good.

[interruption in interview]


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