Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bernard & Emery Klein - May 23, 1984

Father's Reaction

How did your father react when you got home? What did he do?

E: He, again, being very practical minded guy, he knew or realized we have to start a new life. And stop waiting that, for any miracles or manna to fall, he immediately started to trade. Realizing that there is uh, great shortages of food in our part of town, whereas there were certain things available elsewhere. He bought a little truck and went and bought certain produce and food which was not available in Humenné, and brought it home and opened a little uh, I can't even say store, because it was in our home, in a room where we were selling these things from the almost, from the second week when we came back. And eventually we got in, back to, back to, to business in a more normal organized way.

We have some photographs of how...

E: Yeah, this house, this house is... B: Well, this is first of all, our father. And this is taken...some time after the war.

E: This is a picture in either 1945 or '46. B: No, I don't think it's '45. I'd say it was a little later.

E: Maybe later because he already, his back is colored and gained some weight back. This is a picture of three of us which was taken in 19...it says here exactly, 1st of January 1946. This is another picture of the three of us in winter, in the same, same date. Uh, we became very quickly active in uh, Bernie and myself in the... B: Zionist organization.

E: The Zionist organization, which, uh... B: Well, actually, we belonged to it before. As kids, uh...

E: As kids because we belonged to the Ha-Shomer Ha-Tsa'ir at that time. And after the war, we being one of the few people back, we were approached to join. As it turned out that Bernie and myself, we became so-called the leaders of the movement in, in Humenné. This picture happens to be one of the camp picture of Moshavah, to which we went practically every summer. And, uh... B: This was a national gathering.

E: Right.

Where was this?

B: This was in either Drienova, unfortunately it's not inscribed, or in Dombrad either in 1946 or 1947. We went, all the young people that belonged to the Zionist organization, particularly the Ha-Shomer Ha-Tsa'ir would have yearly, annual camping summers and this is where we went and uh, we're getting further indoctrinated about making Aliyah.

E: This was really the reason why we insisted uh, our father who meantime remarried, that we should go to Israel. His aim was to go to United States to join his sister.

E: We had other relatives in the United States. B: His sister, our aunt, lived in Detroit from early 1930s.

E: Mrs. Friedenburg. B: 1920s, I believe she came over here.

E: While we also had other, our uncles were still alive in Omaha. And had other relatives, but we were quite determined to go to Israel.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn