Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Kalmas - May 25, 1982

Feelings Toward Living in United States

What was your uh, feelings, uh, your first initial feelings towards the United States?

Not good, not good. I uh, like I said, I, I got s...slapped in the face by coming into Nashville. If I would have come into New York, Detroit uh, Cleveland, you know, Chicago, it would be a different story. But if you come in to New Orleans and you see what's going on there, that this, this is for blacks--the segregation, okay, the same thing that--ghetto! I probably coined the word ghetto here.

Well, how is it that you came to New Orleans? Everybody else came through New York.

Because I--there was no uh, we came with the, with the military transport ships. And there was a ship going in this--in...into this port or whatever it is there. So I was on it. For fourteen days, fourteen days on the, on the, on the war ship. And it's no fun in a, in a, in a transport ship, let me tell you so. No fun. It's a, it's a chapter by itself. It's a chapter by itself.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn