Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Immigration to America

Um, what made you decide--when you decided to come to the United States, to come to Detroit?

First, we came to New York. And uh, we had our daughter. Our oldest daughter was born there, Sarah, andů

Was born where?

She was born in New York.

Uh huh.

We had one daughter. She was born in New York. And uh, my sister lived already that time in Detroit. And my brother Jack was here from Portland, Oregon. So we have decided that you know, we were such a big family and there are just three of us left that maybe it's a good idea that we should stay in one city.

Did you become a United States uh, citizen?

Yes. Five years were over. So it was, to me--it was the thrill of my life.

What was your initial impression of the United States?

[pause] First of all, to be glad to be in a free country. Not to be afraid to walk around. Because those years when we came, '50, '51, it was still you know, you could still walk and not to be afraid.

Mm-hm.

It was a little different than today. But uh, after being in Germany for a few years after the war and being scared and frightened of every noise or voice when you heard or every time a dog was barking you thought somebody's coming to get you. Or every time in the night when you hear footsteps you thought, oh, this is it. And here we came and we saw the Statue of Liberty and going and coming and being free. So this, I think, was the nicest uh, part of, of our life. And to raise a child in a free country was a big thrill.


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