Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Larry Brenner - December 13, 1981

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Did you go back to your hometown?

Yes, I did go back to my hometown and uh, I couldn't take it. I went back to Budapest. I... It was very sad, like I knew that all my family was all... My father, my two brothers, mother, grandfather, grandparents, they all perished. And uh, went back to Budapest and I stayed there from... I was liberated May and I think I came home around July or August in Budapest. But what happened, the Hungarian Army wanted me again. And I had no officially and I also a Hungarian soldier. And they sent a draft out for me and, and naturally I felt that uh, that's enough and uh, I find out how to escape from Hungary to... There was the so-called Briha. Then that was in nineteen-fifty... rather '45. There was a Palestine, which the... After the liberation which uh, Israel wasn't in existence, but nevertheless, the, the Briha, they called it a Briha the one, who, who brought the illegal emigrants to Israel, and they were working in Hungary too, they... And I went, I find out where they working from and I told 'em I want to get away from Hungary. And uh, asked, would you willing to go to Palestine. And I said yes, which I didn't want to really, because I knew what goes on there. And not that I, I'm against... I wasn't a great Zionist, I wasn't brought up there, and also I felt that uh, I escaped one Holocaust and I knew that there is no peace over there. But nevertheless, I told them in order for me to get me out from there yes, so I said yes. So, they organized about a group maybe about a hundred or so and they sneaked us out from Hungary to Yugoslavia to Italy. And uh, I was there in a kibbutz--so-called kibbutz--which was uh, the Italian people, they were great hospitable people and they treat us with, with uh, all respect and they gave us, uh...They kind of felt sorry for us and they was freed completely, we could travel all over the country. And uh, I felt that uh, those... I was there from '45, no from, let's see, no, from '46 I came there, from '46 to '48 for about a year and a half. And I came to admire the Italian people. I was in North Italy, in Milano. I never felt any anti-Semitism there. Because, not because, maybe they weren't used to it. I know, as far as I found out that during the war or before the war, there were very few Italian Jews. I think in all Italy there was about forty thousand, which is about, among forty millions, what is that uh, one tenth, one tenth, a one tenth of a percent. And they were very assimilated Jews. And uh, they didn't know... I don't think there was any pious Jews in Italy. They were all very assimilated. And they didn't, they didn't know what Jew is. And they heard the story what happened to us. They felt kind of sorry, and they... Only thing I could tell you that uh, they never made us feel not unwelcome, they made us feel always welcome. And I have admiration for them.

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