Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Holcman - September 14, 1983

Immigration to U.S.

And what made you decide to come to the United States?

Uh, now this is the Greenland of uh, of all European Jews. And uh, Sweden is a good country, a great country, I can't deny that. But uh, it's not for Jews, not in my opinion anyhow.

Was it anti-Semitic?

It's, it's not that much anti-Semitic, but it's no kosher, no Yiddish school, no, no culture, no nothing. It's not a Jewish life in uh, Sweden.

Did your sister stay in Sweden or...

Yeah, my sister stayed in Sweden uh, my brother came to Sweden too. He came to Sweden as somebody, as somebody's uh, husband, fictitious husband. He came to Sweden too.

So, when you got to this country, how did you wind up in Detroit?

Uh, my sister left uh, my sister left uh, Sweden before I did and she came to Detroit because uh, her husband had a second cousin twice removed over here. So, that's why they were, she arrived to Detroit. So, I had no place or nobody, so I came to my sister.

Okay, and what were your impressions of the United States?

I'll tell you, the beginning was rough. Uh, no language and uh, it was tough. To make a living was tough.

Did your brother come too?

Yeah he, uh... My sister came nine months before I did, my brother came a year after I did.

Did you become a citizen?

Yeah, mhm.

Do you remember where and when?

Uh, yeah, I became a citizen in Detroit and uh, right uh, on my anniversary, five years being here because uh, I wanted to go to Israel to see my father-in-law.

So, that was in nineteen... Do you remember the year?

If it's uh, I came in February, I came in February uh, '53, it must have been '58 in February or March.

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