Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Mondry - June 15, 22, 29 & July 13, 1992

Milan, Italy

How did you get to Milan? How did you get to Milan? You said you were in Milan for a while.

In Milan. I was all over Italy. By train.

But did you live in Milan?

No, but see there was black market.

And that's where you met Sophia Loren's sister.

Yeah, I meet her through some Italian friend of mine. He was in, he was in Darmond, in the aviation, a pilot. He was with, with Celina's son and their nephew or something. Then they got ??? You see, I had a little business in Italy.

Black market business.

I'm not selling black market. You see, I know everybody in the police, in the police in Italy. The foreign police, you know. They call it ??? in Italian ??? Police, for the foreigners, you know.


I know the head man, I used to give him cigarettes, whiskey, you know. And he got me residence, you know. I, I coulda lived, I coulda live in Bari. I didn't have to go to ??? live in camp, you know. You know, I leave, I move, I moved out of camp, after you. I lived private.

In Bari.

I lived a long time. To Milano, to Rome, to Milano. And I meet this American guy. He worked for the UNRRA. You know, UNRRA in 19... Did you ever hear...

Relief organization.

And talking, talking. He starts asking me, you know, what I do. I say, "I do nothing. I just hustle to make a few dollars, you know, so I can spend it, you know." You see, we paid more for the dollar, like, than the bank paid, you know. The bank paid 600 lires, he paid 6.8, 6.5, 6.7. And in, in his other apartment in Bari there was, like, three Americans, you know. They come from the poor section, they not American. They come back after the war, you know, to visit, to stay there. They had money. They don't want to go in the bank, they could get more money. They had like a little... What do you call it? Brokers, brokers, Italian... brokers ??? And ask me, so they come ask me. I got, somebody got $200. I said, what denomination. He had, he only want to ??? but change today, 200. But, see, he wants to change next week, $500.

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