Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Karp - June 22, 1983

Moving to Canada and the United States

And what did you do at that point?

Came to Canada. In Canada I had uh, at that time [pause] four? Five uncles--four uncles who were--came before the war to Canada. They were my brother--my, my mother's brothers.

Had you been in touch with them before that?

Before what?

Before you left for Canada?

Oh, yes. Yeah. At that time we were--after the war certainly were in touch with them.

Was that the main reason why you left Austria to go to Canada, because you had family there?

Uh, yes. Yeah.

Was your dad still living at that time?

Oh, yes, my dad still lives. As a matter of fact he just called me this afternoon from Rome. He's on his way to Israel.

Incredible. It's hard for me to understand why you would separate from your dad.

Well, this is another story. In 1949 my dad remarried. His life went on. He used to say, "Life is for the living and you have to keep on." So he got married and with my stepmother they stayed in Hungary 'til 1955. She had--she was also survivor. She had two children who has survived. And in 1951 they went to Australia. And at the time my dad and my step-mother had left--in 1955 Hungary they were able to immigrate to Australia. They go their papers--exit papers form Hungary due to the fact that uh, my sister--this was my stepsister--who is still living in Australia and she was married and had established family. They oriented and they went to Sydney.

So then you made a life for yourself in Canada? Or you did not stay there long?

Oh, yes. I stayed there long enough. I stayed there for nine years. And I was a single man, made a nice living and--we tried to do the very best we could.

What kind of work did you do?

I was in the custom jewelry. I was in the clothing business. And last I was in the mobile home manufacturing. And in the latter part of the 50s I met my wife who was in America and she came during the '56 revolution. Um, and she wasn't able to leave the US. She couldn't come over to Canada because for two years they were here only as guests, so-called, until they got their green cards. We, we got to know each other, and we decided to get married. So somehow I had to come over to the States so I gave up everything I owned in Canada. I left behind everything and I came in and we got married right away.

Did you become a United States citizen?

Oh, yes.

When you first came both to Canada and United States did you encounter any problems, specifically like anti-Semitism?

Um, in Canada or...

Both places.

Um, I must frankly tell you, if there was any--and I have no doubt to believe that there is or for that time, to say, I have no reason to say that there wasn't, you know. We really did not encounter any of those people who may have exercised anything but--any, in all candid phrase--any anti-Semitism. What it may have been there, at that time it didn't mean anything. It was so minimal after what we have gone through with the previous years. So whatever we have seen, whatever we have encountered, over here it was heaven.

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