Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Anna Greenberger - August 24, 1982

Buying Passports to South America

We could have gone to uh, Uruguay for a thousand dollars, for Brazil, a thousand dollars. So we didn't have. So somebody told us that for five hundred dollars we can go to Paraguay. Paraguay is the worst country in the world. Or we can go to Bolivia. To Bolivia we applied and would you believe it that they wanted to accept us as immigrants to Quito, to Ecuador. Quito. That's the capital city. We got back a paper that if we are working people and we have profession, they take us in. So I was a seamstress and my Alex was a butcher. And from Czechoslovakia people were all over very well taken. And we said, "We have a mother but we are able to support her and a little girl." We sent the picture. And they wrote back a, a letter that they take us in. They pay for us the trip and when we will work, we pay 'em back. But unluckily we had already visa to Paraguay for five hundred dollars. We didn't have money, but we wrote for my uncle to Miami Beach. He should send us five hundred dollars that we can get a visa to Paraguay. And he started in the letter that we are crazy. That uh, that's probably somebody want the five hundred dollars and they just take our money and the whole thing. But we got a false visa. We wasn't-- weren't registered. We didn't know. And we had transit Argentina. So nobody wanted to pay us the trip. The money we had from my sister saved up. She sended us once, she said, "And you go wherever you want because I can't support you anymore." It was such a long time. So we went to CHAIM, you know, the Jewish organization and we told him--it was Klein his name--that we have visa to Paraguay but we don't have uh, the ticket. And he said he can't pay for us. We should go back to Israel. So we said, "What will we do in Israel? "My mother can't survive there and we have nothing anymore. We don't want to go back. And people be left--what will we do there?" So I said uh, I went with Alex and we said, "If you don't want to pay us the trip, I go to the Vatican and there is a Czech committee, committee--Czechoslovakian, and I will convert. I will convert for Gentile and they will pay a trip." I wouldn't. He took the paper and he picked up the paper and he said, "You do that, and goddamn--" he started. He said, "You do that?" And I said, "So you want us to starve? If you don't want to help us. Help us someplace to go." He said, "Okay, I will try." We got paid from Vatican. It was a international organization, but through him. ???. Authority for International something, a organization.

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