Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Pauline Kleinberg - October 28, 1982

Life in the United States

What were your first impressions of the United States when you came here?

Heaven. In spite of that I tell you, we are very honest. We didn't come straight through to uh, Detroit. My sister, as long as we were--carried the same name we were at least together. But once she was married and she had her married name, and they were registered before--they were known as Grosses and we were known as Kleinbergs. Thereafter there it was to Richmond, Virginia. But when they got--they landed in New York. She said, Everybody lands in New York." She said, "I'm not moving. No matter what it takes, I'm waiting here for my sister so we stay together." What happened--didn't meant that we should be together. From all the people when we immigrated, when we, we were sent to New, uh...

Husband: New Orleans.

New Orleans. Of two people, two families, from all the people in the world, from so many immigrants, we were the two to New Orleans.

Husband: Oklahoma...

When I got to Oklahoma City--yeah but we landed in New Orleans to Oklahoma City. When I got there I cried every single day. I said, "Now, it's the end." Strange faces, strange language, strange food. When I see the super cut bread, blow me down. Well what do you do with bread like this? This is to eat? And no one to talk to. My little son, two and a half years old, got sick. What do you do if you don't know how to talk and no one to communicate? Here you come, you talk Yiddish, talk broken En...language. I turned on the radio I had a Polish uh, station when I first came. But not in Oklahoma City. So they sent me a woman--I don't know how many words I have ever commu...communicated, that I need a doctor. They sent me a woman--a doctor and I had a little teensy eensy dictionary in German. And German it's not my perfect language. But I--like I do ??? here. So uh, she told me, I said, "My son's sick, I don't--my son's sick." She want to tell me where it is. You look through the yellow page. That's how I come to you. And then she told me through that little dictionary. And she gave me a drug. She brought it myself--a woman--a doctor. And she said if he should have it again, to call her. So we should go from one page to the other, but I knew what she meant.

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