Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Italy--The Black Market

Was this a good place for you for three months?

Yeah, yeah, I come out a little better, you know. I start to feel better.

She gave you food?

Yeah, they cook for me, chicken, fresh chicken, fresh. And they took me to the...to a small village at night, dancing, you know. I know, I, I, I, uh...I thought I was a strong individual, I didn't give up. I didn't feel like to lay down and die, you know. In Italy, you know what I did in Italy? I was on the black market, too, changing dollars. We had a group, like one in Milan and in the northern part of Italy. In the southern part, it was lots of Italian-Americans where I was and they had lots of dollars to change. We paid them over the bank. The bank was paying 600 for it and we paid them about 608, 605, 610 sometimes. It depended how much they demanded. In Rome, the dollar was higher. There was richer people buying the dollar. In Milan, we used to get a group together, you know, everybody...everybody put some... We bought some dollars, like to pay tomorrow you know, the brokers, you know. And they send us with a plane, one guy is sent with a briefcase with $10,000, you know. And somebody wait there on the plan. They give them right away another briefcase with Italian money.

How did you get involved in that?

We look how to make an easy dollar, to can live, to have a little better life. I tell about, there was there a Jewish man, I don't know. He lived in a quarter in Italy, I don't know. He, he was Polish. He escaped Italy before the war. He wind up in the city. I think his name was Ratner or something. Religious man, he was always with a cane. He got me well. We used to have like...We have an old cafe, you know. It was like a trading place, like a cafe on the street.

This was after you left this vineyard?


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