Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lila Denes - May 19, 1989


So, how long were you in Salzburg?

Five months. We waited for our Canadian visa. We went to Canada first because my husband has a brother in Windsor and he sent us the papers, necessary papers. So, we went to Windsor.

What did you do for five months in Salzburg?

Well, by then my, my brother had a nice little knitting mill. He's a very good businessman and he met some people from Budapest who were in the knitting business and my sister-in-law was born in Salzburg. She had some family in Salzburg. And so, all together they made a nice little knitting mill. So, my brother put us up in a little apartment and that's where we waited 'til...

And what year was this?

That was in '52. The end of uh, '51 we left Hungary in December. We arrived in Vienna on Judy's birthday, December twentieth, and she said, "That's my birthday present." She was ten years old, about nine, you know. And so in '52, June, we arrived in, in Windsor, Canada. For three years we used to live there and meanwhile we got our visa to the United States. My husband had five sisters in New York. They came long time ago, before...

Why didn't you move to New York?

Because it was very difficult. The Hungarian visa is very bad, very poor. And we forgot it, that already in Budapest, I went to the American Consulate asking for a visa. I was standing in line for that for six months every day. Finally I got numbers, everything that we had a visa, but because we had to hide it because the communist--I forgot it. When we were in, in uh, Windsor, then we remembered, "Carl, we had a visa to the United States." But he didn't remember anything. So, there was a lawyer who took care of all these immigration cases and he wrote to Washington about it. They couldn't find it. They tried and tried. Finally, we remembered my husband changed his name. His name was Klein, his original name. And after the war he said, "I don't want that German name" and he changed it to Denes. And our visa was Denes Klein Dawich Loyes. And we don't, didn't remember that. So, we just wanted, what we used that name, Loyes Denes. Finally, we said try it. The lawyer tried it under that name and he found it. So then, within a year, we were here.

In Detroit?


It must have been hard to pick up and leave all, all, every five, six months. What was it like to--first you left Budapest and then you left...


Vienna, then you left Salzburg?

Then we left Salzburg, then we came to Windsor, which was at that time it was a really, you know, little hick town. And we used to live in my brother-in-law's house. He had a four-bedroom house, okay, but it wasn't your home anyway. It was difficult.

Did you think you would ever just settle down someplace?

Yes, we were young and full of hopes, yes.

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