Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Opas - [n.d.]

Decision to Move to the United States

Okay. What made you decide to come to the United States?

Well, the only, the only place I could go is--or to Israel or to, to the States. I had no other choice. Because I had relatives in the States.

In Michigan itself?

In Michigan, yeah, in Detroit.

Had you communicated?

No, no, I didn't know them. I knew--I didn't know them. They were actually not, not very close, not very close uh, not imm...immediate family.


They were second cousins.


I didn't know them about--I didn't know about them. I knew they lived in, in, in Detroit, but I didn't know--I didn't communicate because I didn't know them. I didn't even know their father either--their father was my first cousin. But I didn't know. He, he left when I was a tiny baby--I think maybe even wasn't born yet--he left for the States. But a brother of his--also my cousin--lived in, in Tel Aviv. These girls' uncle lives--live--lived in, in Tel Aviv.


I actually wanted to go to Israel, but he advised me against it.

Didn't want--what was his advice?

His advice was, "You went through so much..." because that time it was wars with the Arabs. After the, after the War of Independence, he said, "When--they went through a lot. He said, "Why, why would you like to go through again that--all the hells. You had--you went through it--so many years of, of ghettos and concentration camps and uh, you should look for a better life." So he advised me to go to the States. He said, "If you go, you will meet your new relatives." He advised me very, very strongly against coming to Israel. I didn't know. Well, finally I took his advice because a lot of people start registering for, for, for the States. So I figured well, maybe, maybe--I knew I have a profession, I'm a furrier--I could have a life here. I, I was afraid in Israel maybe, maybe I wouldn't have--I wouldn't have any, any use for my profession--it's a warm climate. So I decided to go to the States.

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