Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Larry Brenner - December 13, 1981

Immigration to America

And in 1948, I think, May the fifteen... I, by the way, in Italy I work for the U... for the AJDC, for the American Jewish Distribution Committee. I worked in the Immigration Department. Through the Immigration Department, I had an opportunity to immigrate to the United States, which I did in, in May 15, 1948, the day where Israel was declared as a state.

Same day.

Same day. I remember I came out, that evening I came home and I seen the people dancing in the street with American flag collecting money. And I don't know what goes on, so they told me this is a day where Israel was declared. And uh, my sister was here already and you could imagine what a reunion I had with her. And, uh...

Was she in Detroit?

No, no, no, no in New York. In New York. I arrived to New York, and uh, through the AJDC, which I believe it's a great organization. They helped uh, tremendously uh, to uh, emigrate people from uh, all over Germany and from Europe. And they helped me in the beginning too, until I got my job to support myself. What they did they gave me quarters in a hotel, I think in 103rd Street in New York uh, a room and food and some money. I needed the help maybe for two or three months or so until I find a job. And I was in New York 'til 1952 as a single person. And uh, I had a good time, life as single and made some money, not too much worries. I knew that, you know, my... I got over as much as some person could be over that you lost your parents, you lost everybody around you, but life went on. And uh, I think I came... I worked as a toolmaker as a trade. I came to Detroit in 1952 where I met my lovely wife and she fell in love with him. And thank God that uh, I have two lovely children, two girls. One is married, and one is going to... one is a student in New York. And presently I have a nice position, and...

I want to ask you about your children. Um, did you become a citizen of the United States?

Yes, I became a citizen as soon as I had the chance, the first chance I had. I was very proud of it. And what could I say, I, about this country is uh, my, I feel like it's my first home, not my second home. I feel I'm Americanized.

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