Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Opas - [n.d.]

Detroit Jewish Family Services

Well, I said--had not, had not a choice. I mean, if I, I'm Jewish and she cannot help me because I'm Jewish, I said, "Well. It's again, again no good to be Jewish." I felt all right. I said, "I will wait." I wait about three hours. At nine o'clock I go over to the phone and I call. They answer in English naturally. And I said--and I talked in, in Yiddish. I said, "Well I, I just arrived and some...somebody--I was told in Boston that somebody will take care of me--somebody will wait for me here and I don't see..." They don't understand what I'm talking. I said, "How in the world--how you operate? I mean, if you, you knew I, I'm a new arrival from, from Europe and I cannot speak English." So finally somebody came over and, and speaks to me Yiddish. And they, they say to me "??? nemen." You little Yiddish, yes or no? Nothing? "Take, take a cab." "A cab? What is a cab?" So I didn't--"Take a cab." In Yiddish they say, "Take a cab." "A cab?" I said--I, I didn't--I said, "From where I have to take it. Take? To take a cab?" It's easy to say in English, "Take a cab." And I said, "Take? From whom I should take it? Where, where I'm going to take it? And what is a cab?" I couldn't, I couldn't get to the--"Take a car." I didn't know a car either. I know if they would say an automobile or a taxi, I would understand. "No! A cab or a car." Oh, it took me about fifteen minutes 'til somebody explained to me what--a, a taxi. So I was going to, to--and, and we will pay for it. So I was going already to, to hire a taxi. Jewish people passed by me. They, they tried to make a phone call. And when they heard me talking like this, they said, "Don't worry, we are going to there--we are going there. You going with us. We will, we will, we will take you there. I will take a taxi and we will go together." Ah, what a relief. I had Yiddish, Yiddish spoken. Yiddish spoken. I said, "All right." So we went. And uh, and I asked them, "Why in the world, why in the world didn't you--didn't somebody wait on the railroad station to, to take us--I mean, to take care--we are new arrivals. Don't you understand that we are strangers in this land?" "We got a telegram nine o'clock. When we opened the office we got the telegram." How do you like this?


Well, it was a misunderstanding, but somehow....

[interruption in interview]

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