Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joshua Fishman - July 13, 1982

Moving to the United States

How did you come to Detroit?

I came to Det...uh, I had two uncles here. And uh, originally to come here I was registered with the HIAS and the HIAS sent me the affidavits. My uncle--my other uncle sent me, sent me affidavits too to come here but uh, this, this papers were processed first and I came through the HIAS. And I moved in to my uncle right away for--we lived there a few weeks and then we took on--my mother found a job first, she was a dressmaker. For me, took me a little longer to find a job. We moved out, we moved out apartment and we lived um, not far from downtown here. Parsons? You know where McNichols Warehouse was?


Right near there is an apartment, I lived there. Uh, in fact uh, many people who came to the HIAS--the try and--HIAS tried to help them. They settled them mostly in such places anyway. I really lived on my own. My, my younger uncle had an apartment and uh, he couldn't rent out--he didn't want to rent out that apartment because he knew we were looking to go out from--we didn't--couldn't stay with that, with that uncle--with other uncle. The only places ??? uh, apartment there. Then we moved uh, you know, this was our business, moved and moved and moved.

What were your first uh, your feelings about the United States?

My first feelings uh, when I was in Germany and I read in the paper that good President Truman was against the Jewish people going to Palestine, so-called, I had very hard feelings about America, too. And when I heard that Roosevelt didn't let in those, those refugee ships that escaped--they didn't let, let them in. They, they had to leave, leave the shore. Uh, I didn't have such good feelings but I came here. I was thankful that I was admitted and the life in this country is--was very, very good for uh, for everybody. It's changed. Now it's changed. It's a different story now. It's still a good country but I felt that I didn't belong here. Many people left Germany ??? after the war. They even left Aliyah Bet. You know what Aliyah Bet is?


It's illegal immigration. Uh, but there were cases that people had to swim to the shore. But my mother couldn't do it. I could've done it myself. That's why we didn't--I would've gone to Aliyah Bet to Israel. Even though my, my life here otherwise is much better than in Israel, I feel better in Israel. This is our--this is a place that belongs to us. Nobody can tell us that the Jews have all the money because it's, it's ours. We can defend ourselves. If we would have in Dombrowitza--if we would have ju...just about five hundred guns we could have maybe ??? some of the Jewish, Jewish population. We didn't have anything. ??? we are good army, we could defend ourselves through boys are getting killed there but for our own defense and they are not getting killed for nothing as we were in the Holocaust ???. I have one daughter who moved to Israel, like I told you. This other is going to move after she finishes university. I am stuck here.

Let's take a break and listen to some ???

[interruption in interview]

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