Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Goldman - June 6, 2003

Adjusting to American life

Must have been sort of overwhelming to come from a place like Łódź. You spent five years, six years on a farm...

Well not six years.

...and find yourself on a boat, in New York. What were you thinking about?

Well, really what I was thinking about, I wasn't even thinking that much, you know. At that point, my, my whole life was uprooted, you know. I was just going from day by day, whatever's happening, you know. I really, really couldn't...I didn't think ahead what's going to happen. I was just going from day to day, really. Because, you know, at a young age I was left all on my own to fend my, for myself.

What kinds of thoughts do you have about your parents or your family, or did you then? What kind of memories?

Well, I have pretty good memories, but uh, you know, nobody left, as far as I'm concerned we didn't have a luxury life, you know. Hard working family, you know, just making ends meet. And in those days, that wasn't uh, at least I don't think so there were that families that uh, I thought we had a pretty good life.

And it was all uprooted.

Oh definitely.

Was there a point at which you looked back and said there's nothing left? Start all over again and not know what to do next.

Well, that's what it was. There was nothing left, really, for me.

So what kind of future did you think waited for you, starting from scratch?

Well, as I just told you, I really...

Day by day. ...day by day, I didn't even think ahead what's going to happen until I got to the United States and then I got situated in Detroit. And that was still just nothing to do much in it, just thinking about learning, learning the language, day by day, which I decided at that time--I was proud. If I would have kept on with education I imagine I would have gotten a higher education. But I didn't like the living conditions to be on a--actually handout, to me it would be a handout, you know, because I, I didn't earn my, my keep. So I just decided to go and get a, go to work.

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