Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ruth Federman - February 13, 2008

Life in Israel II

...the American Jews, English Jews, South African Jews, started to be interested in the new Israel. It started to come. The little 21 room started to flourish. And we decided if we all--we must sell it or we must start to build. Started, we started to buy--ah, this is, is a story which I maybe can send you in the--I have it in English, because it--we, we must sit here for hours. In this little hotel, three people came from Miami who were in the DP camps in Europe. You know about the DP camps. And they came here and they met my husband who knew already English because he was very talented. He knew French, he knew English already. He was in a camp--in a concentration camp in Spain during the war.


Yeah. And somehow he caught all the, the languages. People started to ask him, "How do you know so many?" He stated, "On the way, on the way I learned the languages." And these three people who came, one was a businessman, one was a Hadassah woman, and one was a rabbi from Miami. They were so, uh, my--do you want to hear?

Yes, yes.

My brother--in--law who was in Pale...in Palestine, from '40, yes? From the year '40, was already established in business and so on. And he was always--that was in the underground. When, when the illegal ships came, he just came to the little hotel and said to my husband, "Listen, I need $5000 to give a captain of a ship who is bringing young people and if we don't have the money, he, he, he is not leaving the children the, the, the, the--from the ship to get out." So my husband, who met these American, uh, made the, the, uh, meet the--said to my brother--in--law, who had a lot of chutzpah, yes? "Meet these American children--American people, maybe they give you the money, I mean borrow you the money." Again the Sochnut, we, we pay the money back. So here he came to the, to one, to the businessman and said, "Listen. My name is so--and--so, I need $5000." "For what?" "There is a ship near here, and the captain needs the money." So this gentleman said, "You will get the money if I go with you," with, with--not with him, but with the people who take the, the people out from the ship. And so he went during the night, they took the children from the boat, to little boats, to here I can tell you where. It's where the Hilton is, yes?

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