Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Opas - [n.d.]

Traveling to United States

And you left in, what, 1949?

Nineteen forty-nine in July.

You left Stuttgart and you came by boat?

By boat, yeah.

To New York?

No, to Boston.

To Boston.



It was a, it was a storm. We were supposed to go to New York but uh, the captain announced that due to the storm, we--they had to change the route and they had to go to Boston and they, they went to Boston.

Did you learn English before you came?


You came not knowing English?

Oh, without a single word. I was, I was so heartbroken because I remember I arrived, I arrived in, in Detroit from Boston--they, they, they put us on, on train, from the, from the Jewish Social Services.


Do you know the Jewish uh, Family...

Family Services.

...Services. They, they were, they were at, at Boston at the Harbor. They advise, uh, they welcomed us to this--to the New Land. They spoke to us in Yiddish naturally because I couldn't speak a word of English. I understood maybe "Okay," I could say "Okay," or something. But they, they bought us tickets from the train ride. And, and they told me that when I arrive in, in Detroit, somebody will wait of--wait for us from the--oh, from the...

How many people were leaving from Boston to go to Detroit?

Oh about--Jewish families?


I think four. They were...

So you all traveled together?

Yeah. There were a lot other non-Jewish--I mean, Polish families. There were about altogether to Detroit went about thirty-seven families.

Mm-hm. And the Jewish Family Services helped all of them?

All of them.

Or just the Jewish families?


The Jewish Family Services helped all of them...

No, no!

...or just the Jewish...

Only us. They went to their--they went to relatives, I think...


...or to, to their organization. No, no. Four family-- four Jewish families came together with me to Detroit. They said--into Boston they told me that they will, they will send a telegram to Detroit to wait for me--they, they will wait for me in--at, at the, at the rail...at the railroad station.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn