Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Karp - June 22, 1983

Preparing to Move to Israel

Did someone suggest that you could go there or did you just...

No, no. we just went on the train and we just went. The train was going to Munich so we went there. We got off at Munich. Still didn't have no, no call where to go to, go to Hungary, go to Italy. We tried--figured that maybe we should go back and see who came home. But, as we were at the station there was another train with uh, liberated people and we saw them. They asked us--when they looked at us they saw--are you just liberated? We said, "Yes." Our weight was still half what it used to be. We asked them, "Where are you going?" They said, "Well, we are going to Israel. You wanna come on the train?" "Okay. We'll come on the train." We went on that train and we ended up in Bologna, Italy. In Bologna, Italy they put us into a--an army barrack. It was--they call them a Kaserne. You know, is uh, just like an armory. They put us into an armory. And there was a lot of people coming in from all areas.

Was this like a displaced persons camp?

Yes. Yeah.

And you said "they put you in." Who was it that provided the shelter for you?

Uh, at that point it was the Italians who have provided, but uh, truly how it went--I don't know, because by that time um, it was somewhat from the Israeli um, so...some of the Israelis have taken charge of trying to get people to Israel and they have had some kind of arrangements for people--for displaced people to be in. So we went over there and I'm not so sure it ever--only--I, I think that it was only Jewish people at this particular armory. All indications was that we are going from there to Bari. It was um, southern Italy. This was towards the end of May, June or sometimes in June. No? But in Bologna we stayed about uh, two months, two, two--June, July--through the later part of July. We were debating whether we should go to Israel at that point, because we haven't heard anyone who may have survived or may have not survived. And you couldn't very well get out from that armory either because they were watching you, because they wanted--once you were there they wanted you to go to Israel which would have been fine, but nevertheless we still wanted to know who may have came back. So one morning, whatever belongings we had we threw out through the window from the third or fourth floor onto the street and we walked out from there. We picked it up and went to the station and got on the train and it was going to Milano, then to Padova then to Triesta then to Ljubljana which was Laibach in Yugoslavian. They were asking for, or course, for tickets and we just said we are going home with no tickets. They didn't say anything on the trains. And we got back to uh, when we were in Yugoslavia we stayed there in Laibach ??? we stayed there for two days. They accommodated us and gave us food as we had to change trains to go through Zagreb and up to Budapest. And that's when we heard that the war ended with Japan, you know, the atomic bomb--war ended with Japan. And sometimes in the mid--around the tenth of August came into Hungary--came back to Budapest.

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