Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bernard & Emery Klein - May 23, 1984

Immigration to Israel

When did you go?

B: I was the first one to leave and uh, I went in February of 1949. In those days, that was a group of us young people leaving Humenné, together with people from other parts of the country. And we went at that time with the idea that we are going straight into the Haganah, because the War of Independence was still going on. As a matter of fact when we arrived, and of course I left early in 1949 with the full assurance that my father and Emery and the rest of the family will follow uh, when we arrived in Israel we were taken to Beer Ya'agov, which was one of the holding camps from where people were either assigned to residences or the army. And we were told that the army representatives will soon come to take care of us. But instead, next day they came and they said that forget it. We don't need you because we just signed a ceasefire. I recall in the triangle, the ??? that they were still fighting. The early 1949, but it was, the cease fire was signed then, so they didn't need anybody else in the army. So I wound up in Farat, where we had a cousin, I earlier referred to him as he was the first one of the family to make Aliyah.

E: Eli Landesmann. B: Eli Landesmann. So, I went to visit him, and uh, next to Farata, where he lived, there was another village that was abandoned. Arabs were on their way, then the 1948 war broke out and I occupied by the Muchta's house. Muchta is the, uh...

E: Mayor. B: Mayor, right. Which was a stone, two or three room little building and uh, I occupied it. There was no water, but I started a farm there by carrying, hand carrying water from my cousin's house, which was about uh, I would say about a half a mile distance.

E: Uphill yet, too. B: Uphill, right. However, we did it very happily and gladly knowing that we are free, and that uh, in those days we thought, "This is Israel!" And uh, then finally got, beg your pardon?

E: We came out a few months later.

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