Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ruth Federman - February 13, 2008

Leaving Czechoslovakia

So it was just a, a means to get...

Yes. Somebody came to my mother also. So I suppose my mother wanted to leave. But she was afraid. She's said maybe when, when we come to Palestine, something can happen to me and my young girl, he wouldn't leave or something. She didn't do it. You know, most of them did it for money. But the one, the one who came with us, because he was like our uh, leader, yes? He take care of us. He, he was, he didn't do it for money. He really did it to bring the girls--somebody out. He had the English passport.

So would--was he a chaperone? Someone to...

Yes, yes, they both were chaperones.

But you didn't, you didn't leave on that train, right? How did you find out that the train was not going?

No, I'm talking now about Palestine...

Oh, when you came to Palestine.

...with the ???, yes?

Uh--huh, I see.

The other one, we went home. They sent us home to, to England, the transport.

What happened when you went home? Was your mother upset?

I don't remember, I don't remember. Really, I don't remember. I think I was happy. I was happy. I was glad.

And how long before you began to make plans to come to Palestine, between the Winton train and...

I had the certificate in my hand, or my mother had it.

I see.

So, on the first of September I was supposed to go to England--the day when the German went to Poland--when the war started. The war started on the second of September, really. And I went on the twenty--seventh of November to Palestine. I arrived on the fourth of December. Everything in my book.

What was that--you took a train?

We took a train to Trieste. Trieste we went to the Sochnut.

Okay, so who were you with on that train? Were you alone?

No, the train was full of, uh, people, not only children, grownups who could leave, who had the certificate.

But your mother was not with you.


So you got to Trieste, and then where?

In Trieste we were two days, and I remember that we went up a hill, we went to an office of the Sochnut where we got the permission to go to Palestine. So, the Sochnut. Ask Google what the Sochnut is really. Because it was at the time of the mandate, yes?


We didn't have a government. It was like our government.

But it was--it sounds like it was an underground organization.

No it wasn't underground. No, no, no.

It was approved by the British?

I think that they were with American Jews somehow connected who gave maybe the money.

We'll look it up and we'll talk about it.

Yeah. You can look it up in the Internet.

Yeah, on the 'net.

Very easy.

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