Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Harry Praw - June 30, 1982



Life was uh, life was really there was strictly Yiddish. Wherever you turned was Yiddish. It made you really feel that this is the place that you wanted to be.

Mm-hm. You felt comfortable in that...

It really felt comfortable. First of all at that time in the 40s and the 50s, you weren't afraid of going into a subway. You could go into a subway all the time during the day, twenty-four hours a day. You saw people all nationalities. Everybody had a different newspaper. You could see a Jewish guy with the ???, the German guy with the German paper, and a Polish paper and a Russian paper. Nobody even dared to bother you. You could walk all night long on Broadway, nobody would bother you. You could walk in the parks--we slept in the parks in the summertime it was so hot so people slept in the parks.


Nobody thought that someone was going to do something--someone was going to bother you. Finally at the end of 1956 I was tired. I worked six years straight without a vacation--we didn't even know what a vacation was.

Uh-huh. Did you have any other children at that time? During...

Yeah then my daughter was born in '52 in New York.

Oh, your daughter was born.

Yeah in '52. I had one American, one American.


So 1956 I had friends in Cleveland. So I said--those were friends from Germany so I said, "I'm going to go to Cleveland to visit the friends." The kids were on Christmas vacation. So we came to Cleveland and this friend of mine said to me, "You know what, we have friends in Detroit. Let's go visit Detroit." So we took a car. In New York you didn't need a car. The subway was five cents and we couldn't afford a car. And living was really different in New York than it is in these pl...in this part of the country like Ohio, Michigan, Illinois. I'm not talking about the west coast.

[interruption in interview]

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn