Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lucy Glaser Merritt - July 8, 1991


When you went back to Vienna did you walk the streets?

Yes, I went back to the place where the SS had chased me when I was trying to apply for a passport. You know. [doorbell rings]You had a, you had a, yeah I ???

Tell me about your going to get a passport and being...

Yeah, you had to stand in line all night. And then in the morning they came and chased you again. So that all those who had stood faithful enough suddenly were at the end. I went back to that street to see where the terror was. And there wasn't any more terror. I was not afraid of the street itself. And I remember being terrified because the SS came and chased us. Even though they had told us we should line up and we line up all night and then they chase you to rearrange the line. But I did get the passport for myself and for my parents.

So these were Austrian SS-man.


in black uniform.

Yes. Yeah.

When they chased you what happened?

Yeah, for no reason. They just wanted to disturb the line. Keep going, they said. So we move around all the other streets and then come back because we knew we had to stand in line here when that office opened. [laughs] So we did. And they did that a couple times and then they went away, just to amuse themselves. Or maybe that was part of their plan to make it more difficult to get a passport. You also had to have a clearance from the tax people to say that you didn't owe anything. And all sorts of proofs before they would ever let you get a passport. If you had a business it was even worse I understand.

When your parents left could they take any money with them?

Oh, they couldn't. Couldn't. They wouldn't let them take it.

So they left destitute.

Mm-hm. We all did. I didn't have enough money to buy a cup of coffee in Brussels. And my parents had to leave everything behind. And when we arrived in the States our total fortune was five dollars for the three of us. But they did, the relatives were there and then the HIAS did takeover. I looked for the HIAS when I was in New York, but I couldn't find it. I wonder if they still have a place there.

I don't know. I don't even know if they still exist.

We had big rooms where they housed families. They had screens around it if it was a family. And I met-ran into a classmate there. When we, I had assumed he was in Brazil and he thought I was in England and we came together [laughs] in a HIAS.

So you, how many days were you there?

Oh uh, we came here January the 1st. We landed just before Thanksgiving. So we were there a couple months.

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