Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Harry Praw - June 30, 1982

Moving to New York

In Poland?

Yeah. So, I didn't want to deprive her of that luxury. I said, "Might as well live together." So, we packed up but they begged us not to leave New Orleans and I am sorry enough today that I left that place because the Jews down there are much better off than any place else. And they really begged us.

They wanted you to stay.

They wanted us to stay. They offered us the world, they really did. As soon as you learn the language, of course, the Jews don't work down there. Big business, a small business they tried to put them in business. This is the life in down south. I mean, that was I found in New Orleans. I don't know about the other places but New Orleans. But I said, "Nope. We'd like to live with the Jews." And uh, we decided that we move. So, we move to New York and the first place we could move in was with my sister in law. And she lived in a three-room apartment and she had a child. I couldn't find a place so we had to move in other--moved in two families in one apartment. The unfortunate thing was--the mistake that I actually made--New Orleans--the JOINT Distribution Committee sent me, so they were sort of responsible for us.

The JOINT, mm-hm.

They had to make up the difference whatever we didn't earn as far as rent and things like that. The minute I moved out of there I was already on my own. In New York I stayed in the Bronx, I couldn't find no job and no apartment. And everybody promised me, "You just come and you'll be all right." Anyone that had an apartment that wanted rented all--rent or sublease an apartment to you were the old Jewish people--the European people that lived there from before the war. An apartment--I got an apartment, fifteen hundred dollars, two thousand dollars, a thousand dollars. And you had to pay them for junk that they had in the apartment otherwise they wouldn't sell you the even the apartment. You couldn't find an apartment, just to go to a lender to get an apartment, no way.

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