Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alice Lang Rosen - August 5, 1991

Being Reunited with Father

I--by then I think without being told I knew that my mother had--was not coming back. He--I asked him in my letters but he never answered that question, never. It just something that--in fact what happened when I came back, my fantasy was always someone is going to ring the doorbell and I'll open the door and my mother will be standing there. I mean that was a fantasy of mine that I've had for a long time. I just--I don't--wanted the mother as much as I wanted my father. And til the papers were drawn up and everything and I got a passport and, uh...

All through the Red Cross.

All through--yes, French Red Cross did everything. In fact a young uh, soldier came, um, to pick me, to pick me up and by train...

American soldier?

American soldier. By train we went to Heidelberg, which was of course West Germany and American occupied. But when I saw the uniforms--when I saw the soldiers walking on the streets I was terrified un...until I was explained that they were good soldiers, they meant me no, no harm then, then on the contrary. Very frightened of the uniform.

Had you seen any Allied troops bef...before...


...I mean, before the uh, going to the home?

No, no.

So, D-Day didn't really affect you directly.

No, it didn't because, you know, we were in that home, isolated. It was near, near Paris and uh, they had their own grounds and uh, fences around and we never--we didn't really go away from, from the area there, not just, you know. And um, look, like I said, I was very religious and very kosher and, and everything--very Orthodox. And what happened is um, my father then had an apartment with his, with his friend and they had a housekeeper. And--but what the Americans did--they went through all the factories and all the Germans had to give up their um, you know, their factories so my father was actually put in charge of a textile factory, which was his trade anyway, you know, it was his business. And his friend ran a leather good where they made purses and suitcases, you know, so they did very, they did very well, you know. And uh, so when I came back to Germany they took me straight to my father's friend's office and they played a trick on me. They wanted to see if I would recognize my father--by then it was April '46, I was--well, how old was I? About eleven and a half if my birthday's in June--it would have been on the twelfth of June so I was still eleven, eleven and a half. And he had a few men walking in and out of his office and I was sitting in a leather chair--it's a big chair--sitting there waiting and I was told my father would come, come in and all these men came and went and I didn't move. And then among them my father walked in within a minute of course right away I recognized him. And I--he couldn't speak French and I couldn't speak German and, um, his friend translated, you know, for us.

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