Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Raab - June 28, 2002


To Ancona?

No, we went. From Linz we went to ??? which is Austria also. It, it's a border town between Italy and, and uh, Austria. And illegally at night, it was winter, we walked uh, a group of people, we walked through the Alps into Italy to a little town called Murano, Italy.

Did you go with the Haganah?

The Haganah, they were the leaders. And uh, and those guys, most of those guys they were uh, uh, British soldiers from Jewish, from, from the Palestine Brigade? You've heard about this.


So they were our leaders. They were the ones, they were the ones that picked us up with the truck, the trucks in Milano--I mean, in Murano, you know. They were driving, they were driving uh, Canadian trucks, you know. From the British Army and they used to steal those trucks.

What did you think when you saw Jewish soldiers?

Uh, what, that's you know, it was uh, it was nice, you know. And, and this is when uh, we started learning Hebrew and, and uh, we started to speak Hebrew and they want us to speak Hebrew. And, and from, from Murano they took us into a place that is called uh, Rivoli, in Italy. We stayed there, it was all like waiting periods. And then from Rivoli the Haganah, the same uh, guys you know, that took us to uh, a little town on the, on the, on the ocean. It's called Bogliasco, Italy. And from over there we bordered a ship, a, a, a small cargo ship, five hundred people. Uh, it was not a port. The ship was docked away you know, they couldn't, couldn't come any closer. And uh, with pontoon boats we rode to the ship and everything in darkness of the night. And we boarded that ship. The ship was very uncomfortable. It was a, if you're familiar, it was one of the liberty ships. Uh, the U.S. used to build those liberty ships to transfer cargo and goods to England during the war. That was a very cheap built ship uh, just good enough to cross the, the ocean. It was one of those ships that the Haganah acquired. And uh, of course there were no facilities on that ship. I mean, there were, but not for five hundred people. And uh, we had those, those bunks you know, down below. No ventilation, no, no nothing. And the ship left Italy and it took us twelve days.

To cross the Mediterranean.

To go--to hit the, the coast of Palestine. Now, it was a very rough voyage. It didn't bother me so much because I was young and uh, determined and uh, I mean uh, it was fine for me, you know. But there were some other people, older people you know, that uh, it wasn't much fun. Also there were no facilities on that ship. Although there was enough food and the reason for it that when, when we hit the Mediterranean by the Crete Islands which is always rough, the water's very rough over there and that little ship which was probably overloaded. It was going from left to right and it was shaking so bad that most of the people got sick, they didn't bother even eating, they didn't think about eating. Until uh, we came close to Palestine and the British Navy came to accept us.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn