Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ruth Federman - February 13, 2008


So you're in Trieste, and from, two days you stayed on the train in Trieste?

No, no. We went into something, a small penzione--it's a small hotel. This I don't remember really.

And then where?

And then we were on a ship and it was very nice. We had fun on the ship--real fun with the, with the boys, with the other children. There were German children, there were grownups there. My rabbi was even on the ship. He became later, when he went back to, to Czechoslovakia, and became the head rabbi of Czechoslovakia.

Wh...what, so you belonged to a congregation?

We had the synagogue, yes. We went--our, our religion was Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Pesach...


Ah, just a minute. We had religion, uh, once a week in the afternoon with that rabbi who was the head of the synagogue then, or before the war, gave us religion for two hours.

Coming to the school?

In the afternoon. Gathered the children, he gathered the children of the v...of the vicinity, yes? Of all the schools, and we were--he taught us to read Hebrew, and about, uh, about, uh, holidays and also about the Bible. Shema Yisrael, we, we, we were reading.

But Friday night was nothing...

But I didn't know that it existed.

So now, you arrived at the port of Tel Aviv.


And what's the first thing that you remember when you arrived?

Camels. Yes. There were a row of camels. There were only sand and camels. Now you go there, you go there, there the best uh, restaurants are there. You didn't see it?

Not yet. We may tonight.

You must go there. This is where I came. And then, we went to the--off the bus to a place which is called Beit Strauss. I really don't know who Strauss was, you can also use the Internet. You know, the Internet is a terrific thing. I'm sitting hours there.

That's your job.

Yeah. Beit Strauss was uh, offices, there was a--let me tell you later. At Beit Strauss, the relatives came to fetch the children. We, uh, my aunt lived exactly opposite the Beit Strauss. And when she came, she took us--we were two girls, yes? And later she told me she got a shock because I was so tall and so thin and there's another story. I had when still in Prague when I was 11, uh, pneumonia. And before, before I went we had to go to a doctor and they made a x--ray. And they saw that something is wrong with my lungs, which is--happens after, uh, pneumonia.

Pneumonia, yes.

That there are some scars or something, yes? And they didn't, they wrote to my uncle, if he is, uh, ready to take a sick child--if he will be responsible.

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