Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Freda Magnus - July 22, 1982

First Impressions of the United States

What are--what were you first impressions of the United States when you came here?

I loved it, I loved it. Now you see I, I am brought up in a big city. See, Łódź is a very big city and very Jewish orientated, you know, and, and Sweden wasn't, you know. You had a shul there once--I am not so religious but I love the Jewish life, see, that's ??? the Jewish life...


...and tradition and Jewish people. I love to be living with Jewish people, I don't care who they are, you know. But you see in Sweden we were together but there was very little, you know, like the old Jewish people were--was almost like Swedes--this life and the ways. Here I came is--was more like in, like in Poland, you know, Jewish life, you know. And I loved it and I saw here is a big opportunity, you know, to become back a mensch, see that's what it was in Poland. See, the same thing was in, in concentration camp. When I was liberated I didn't care where ever I go as long as I have a clean bed. I could stay in Germany and make a lot of money, you know, after the war. I didn't want it. I was in Germany one day after the liberation and I don't want it. And because uh, I'm a business woman, you know, and I knew I could know how, you know, to make that money but I, I don't want it, I just wanted a clean bed and a normal life, a normal home and a normal dinner. And still when you're left in, in January, you have still been in the barracks, you know, so you go and smuggle things, you know, nothing a normal life to make a living and this I hated. See? And I didn't want it so that's I went to Sweden. I didn't want--I could've made a lot of money in Germany but I didn't care about. And when I came to the United States I saw it's--life is a normal life and oppor...opportunities are big for a person that wants to live a nice normal life and that is my idea of life. It's a normal life--living life.

What kind of work did you do in Sweden?

In Sweden I didn't work long but I worked in a factory--in, in a rubber factory, you know, we made those rubber, uh...


...tires, yeah.

And your husband also?

Also, yeah. ??? school, you know, was around ??? you know.

In the factory, yeah.

Yeah we didn't have no professions, you know, ??? our business and that's all.

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