Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bernard & Emery Klein - May 23, 1984


And you thought about staying in Montreal?

B: Oh yeah, definitely, we settled in Montreal.

E: We settled there. B: In fact, we found it to be quite pleasant because we ran into a number of friends from, back from home and uh, quite a few young people that we were associating with and uh, we started making a new life there. However, our aunt in Detroit was continuously persisting that now that you are close after all these years, I really would want you to live right next to me. And she kept working at it until finally our father was able to get a visa and he agreed to move to Detroit with the understanding that I, in the meantime, married in Montreal. I married my wife, Agnes is a, is also from Humenné, and I had known her since she was born practically and we went through our childhood years as friends. Our families were friends.

E: And you were her Man'heegah, after the war. B: In the Ha-Shomer Ha-Tsa'ir, that's right, I was her leader. Be it as it may, when we came to Montreal, she was already there with her family. So that's why I mentioned there were quite a few, quite a few pleasant things to uh, be, to have in Montreal. And uh, our father decided to move, agreed to Detroit, providing the two of us agreed that we'll follow him. And uh, he left, as a matter of fact, and we were going on with our lives, particularly, Emery single and not too many obligations, until one day, I don't exactly recall whether it may have been a year later after our father moved, we got a telephone call, it was just a plain ultimatum. Either you coming here or I'm going back. So, I consented that we'll move after discussing it with my wife. That...we had not children as yet.

E: I was allowed to stay another two months because... B: Emery dragged it on. We came finally in November of 1956. Agnes and I move to Detroit and then as Emery says, three months later he followed.

E: I came, even though I didn't really want to leave Montreal, because I found it to be my new home which I was very much at home and a lot of friends. And a lot of opportunities, but being as close family as we were, going through what we did, going through, obviously we consented, I consented also to come here and I'm very happy I did. As history, no? Tells the rest.

Do you think that your father was a result, a clear result of the experiences in having lost a family that he wanted you all together?

B: No, ever since we can go back, it was always family and nothing else. First family, so he wouldn't stay, he wouldn't come, he wouldn't have come.

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