Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Henry Konstam - October 25, 1991

Immigration to the U.S.

When did you decide to come to the United States?

It was a, it was a funny thing. I uh, when I was in Germany, I got acquainted with a German businessman over there. Fact is, it wasn't that, when I was at ???, a small town. I got acquainted with him and he uh, decided to open a business with me, and I did. And uh, later on I, we're walking down the uh... two, three fellows and I, in Stuttgart and we saw this office from the um, uh, from the uh, American UNRRA. I don't know if you call. UNRRA. And we just walked in and just registered to go to United States. Ten days later I was here.

So what happened to the business?

I didn't have the chance to liquidate. No, I just, I liquidated after I was here. I liquidated it. And um, I just signed it over to this, to this partner of mine.

So what made you decide to come? I mean, were you...

Well, I...

dissatisfied in Germany?

No, first, first I wanted to go to Israel. And at the time I saw people that went there and they'd come back. They came back to Germany. And it was uh, so then just for the fun of it, I decided I wanted to go to the United States. I had to go the United States, I had to marry my wife.

Did it seem funny to you...

I tell my wife I had to go through hell just to find her.

Did it seem, were you uncomfortable living in Germany?


Were you uncomfortable living in Germany after the war?

No, I was not.

]interruption in interview]

The people in Poland were anti-Semitic, whereas in Germany, the people themselves if there was nobody nearby, even during the war, they would be nice to you. They even help you some of 'em. Only the government was uh, anti... uh, Semitic. But the, the people were not. Whereas in Poland, the people were anti... you could not uh, turn your back on 'em when they going to stab you. I found people actually where, where they hid it so well, or whatever, was when you were person-to-person, you know. They were nice to you. They help you. They treat you fairly good. But I would never go back to Poland because the case over there is just the opposite, you know.

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