Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Emerich Grinbaum - October 3, 2000 & January 8, 2001

Emigration Attempts

Um, that was very resourceful to do all, all this. Were you thinking at the time that this would be your, your, your chosen place, that you wanted to come to the United States?


You didn't think about that.

First of all until the '60s there was no question about leaving, uh.

Ah, they weren't letting.

We couldn't visit even Hungary. In Hungary we started visiting Hungary in the mid-sixties. Before that there was isolation totally. In the seventies, end of sixties--seventies they started letting out. We applied in '73, but we applied, we applied to Israel because that's uh, no, sorry, Israel later. I had an uncle here and usually people applied mostly to Israel or to America but those who had close relatives--brothers, sisters, parents. Some got permission to go to uncle, to the uncle. But not much, not many. So we applied to go to the uncle, uncle. And that was denied for many years. I uh, I again, again, every two months I, I a...applied again and again and they didn't let me go. So uh, you know, I wanted to go to Israel. I wanted to go to Israel. But my wife didn't want to go. If you would have applied to Israel, maybe we'd have, get uh, permission earlier. So finally we applied to Israel and uh, we got the permission to Israel. And then we went, we arrived to Vienna and then we stayed in Vienna and then become because, you know. Uh--we, I didn't want to come to the United States first of all for two reasons. Because I was brought up very much in very Zionist you know, in the Hebrew school which I was ???, my, my dreams were always to go to Israel. My wife was not you know, she's Jewish but she doesn't--didn't have any Zionist up...upbringing or something. Secondly, I was afraid to come to America because I knew that in Israel I can work immediately. In America I have to go through the torture of all the exams and residency, I have some idea. And I was at that time late forties. So that was not the right, right age.

Now when did you get married?

Uh, in 1960. So at, at that, so at that time, at the time--but you know, finally we decided to go to America. My uncle told me that uh, you know, of course, we are going to help you until you learn, studying and I have cousins here. Uh, so, so we decided to come here.

And did you have children at that point?

Sure, two children. It was not a very, very difficult time to, to go through the studies and we were ready. We were the poorest doctors in, in the United States at that time.

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