Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Anna Greenberger - August 24, 1982

Life in Rome

Alex was with you.

Oh Alex, my mother, Erica and I.


Not a penny, not nothing. To go back to Israel we didn't have enough--a penny again to go back to Israel, so what for will we go again back. Not to Canada, nothing. So we stayed there. We wrote to my sister and my sister was that time poor. Now she's ten gob, but they were poor. She made twenty-four dollars per week. And my brother-in-law made seventy dollar. Six months he was working, six months he was laid off. And every month she was sending us money. That's why--I was cooking for money there, I was washing for money clothes, I was cleaning for money. I did everything. Alex couldn't get a job because they would have sent us out from the country. They had enough unemployed Italian. So we were there almost for one and a half years. From there we couldn't get to Canada. I went--so we, uh, first what happened, in Haifa I went to the American embassy and I registered my mother, because if you register once to United States, it's valid all the time. So Alex and I was registered, and Erica, because of us. I went to Haifa and I registered my mother for fun. And I told them in the embassy that we have registration papers in Prague. They should ask. They asked the papers to Haifa to the American Embassy. When we stayed in Rome we went to Rocca di Papa, because we couldn't afford to live in Rome and she couldn't support us so much. And we had three people at home, we cooked for them. One is here. We are very close in San Francisco, he's a biochemist. We are uh, like relatives. And uh, we ate, we ate raw tomatoes and we asked from Haifa the American papers over. But in Italy they didn't want to give visa either to United States. They gave for a hundred Italians but for one Jew. So we were very afraid. So we wanted to buy some visa some place to go. And wherever we wanted to go cost thousand dollars, five hundred dollar. They said--we didn't have a penny.

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