Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Maroko - February 19 & 26, 1986

Immigration to America

Uh, at what point did you decide to leave Israel?

I decided to leave Israel when uh, my uncle offered me... Okay, my uncle he was from Poland. He had been in northern Russia during the World War II. He lost his family and children. And he ended up in Tashkent, close to China, eastern Asian part of Russia. And then uh, he came back in the DP camps and he ended up in Detroit because his second wife, his present wife had a brother in Detroit, by the name of Tintenfish, which means uh, uh, octopus in Yiddish. Uh, so he offered me to go back to medicine. And I was about twenty-nine and I remember that I was uh, debating with myself. And I thought, wow, that's going to be so extremely difficult. And then I told myself, yes but, if you are going to be past it and you look back you will think it was worthwhile. And so I decided to go into it. It wasn't easy, but it was, it was worth it.

This was what in 1952?

I went back to medicine in 1953. Ac...actually in 1952 I studied for two semesters at Wayne University. You paid attention that I did not say Wayne State. It was before it was Wayne State.

Before Wayne State.

I got even on the Dean's list the second semester. The first semester I missed it because the number of credits I took were just not enough for that. The second semester I made sure I would get on the Dean's list.

And you spoke English.

I spoke English, yes. And I went back to Amsterdam in '53 to--I was reaccepted to medical school. My uh, exam that I had uh, passed in 1941 of the pre-med in Amsterdam was still recognized. And I went back to medicine and uh, I also got married in December '53. And my two oldest children were born there.

So Ruth went with you then.

She came to Amsterdam in December from Israel. I went back from Detroit. She,

I see.

and we met in Amsterdam and that's where we spent six years.

And what made you decide to come back here?

Um, I had--when I was here for those two semesters, I had uh, I had, liked the life here. For sure the financial part as well, but uh, also otherwise. And I thought I had much more future as a physician here than in Israel.

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