Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Leaving Italy

And then he came to see you?

Yeah, this is where we start a business with the $50. You see what he did. They, they bought, bought all the aluminum where they shot down the planes. They had like points, you know where they used to press it in the machines, you know, in a big-winged airplane. They make like a little block like this, you know, square block, you know, press it in. And they keep it there, you know. They would let it out in embargo, you know. They will sell it back to Italy, you know. And that's what happened. They make lots of money.

Now, did he ask you to come to the United States and work for him?

He's the one that got me the papers, yeah. But, see, I was a good dresser, you know. I wouldn't wear anything. It's gotta be silk, silk suits, silk shirts, everything. Even my socks had to be silk.

So, you had a good life in Italy?

Yeah, I did.

So, why did you leave?

I didn't want, I didn't want to lose the cover. See, I could've come here in '48, but I was doing pretty good that I keep extending my visa. I know the girl in the consulate, you know. Every time you see my quota come up, my number, I say. What was her name? Like me see. "Hey, Rossanna, Rossanna, put it, put it on the bottom. Give it to somebody else for now, my quota. I want to stay a little bit." One time, I had...Tell me, I can't stay, everybody, somebody, some men, they come and yell at me $500, if I can fix them up, you know, with the quota. And you were the only one, you see, he used to tell me. Always put, put it on the quota, you know.

[interruption in interview]

So, in '49, you decided to come...



Now, you know, there was...She... All leave...Or take it or leave it, you know. She couldn't... she couldn't... she couldn't postpone it no more.

Uh-huh. So, did your cousin live in New York?


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