Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Gun - August 12, 1999


And you went to Pennsylvania.

We arrived in New York. We also had second cousins in New York from my mother's side. That's the only relatives we had from my mother's side. But we also had addresses that my brother got in contact with. My grand moth...mother's sister, my grandmother from my mother's side had a sister that lived in New York. And she had, you know, grown children. And they were very, very nice also, very nice. They took us in, they picked us up right, they were at the ship to greet us. Took us to their house and uh, made a beautiful meal. And then they took us out and bought us clothing. And then my sister-in-law's cousin came to take us to Detroit to see her family. And I remember one of the cousins in New York--which passed away already--he made a comment to my brother and he was actually a cousin--a second cousin by marriage. He told my brother, he says, "Remember Anschle," he says, "if, if you don't find things right in Detroit or in Pennsylvania," he says, "you always have a home with us." which I remember up until today. And they were, you know, very hospitable towards us. And the, the grandma's sister was also very, very warm. She was just like my grandma. And, you know, she was very emotional to see us, and. And then we went to Detroit to visit my, to see my sister-in-law's uncles. And they made sort of--they told my sister and my brother that they'd have a room for them for the time being in their house, and they could stay with them. So we were there for a few days and then we decided to go visit my uh, uncle and aunt in Breckenridge...

Now there's a...

...by train.

...article about you in the, is it the Breckenridge paper?

Yeah, it was called the, the Allegheny Valley News.


The headline said, "A Boy Mere Fifteen Has Lived A Thousand Years."

We'll, we'll um, we'll get a picture of that.

So anyway, when we came to visit my relatives uh, my uh, aunt suggested, she says, "Look." So my brother--she says, "What can I plan, do you have any kind of plans, or..." They wanted them to stay with them too. But my brother says, "Look uh, her uncle has got a junkyard and he told me I can have a job with him, and they got a room, extra room." So my aunt says, "Okay," she says, "but I think that you should leave Jack with us until you find a job, get an apartment. You're going to live there in one room, you're going to be three of you in one room?" And my brother, he says, "What do you think? What, do you want to stay here, you know?" Uh, I didn't know what to say, but I felt that I might be better off. Because I saw the conditions there, you know. And I felt this is still my family. Over there it's, they're my sister-in-law's family, right.

Except for your brother.

Yes. But what did, my brother has nothing. He has no money, he has no job. Doesn't know the language. It's uh, you know, starting all over again.

So what did you do?

I decided to stay there. And it was hard for me in the beginning. Because here is my brother was six years. He was my uh, my father and my mother. And uh, here I got to part again. But anyway, I felt that's the best thing for me to do and I stayed there. And uh, started school. And used to uh, work after school. They had a little supermarket, plus a slaughterhouse. He had three sons, my uncle had three sons that used to run it. They were all in the business. And they had uh, my cousins had children, some my age. And uh, I felt uh, I don't know, didn't feel great there, but adequate. Let's put it this way.

You missed your brother.

I missed my brother and uh, my uncle was not the most sympathetic man. He was one of these old European uh, Jews that came here in the early twenties. Uh, he wasn't that educated.

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