Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alice Lang Rosen - August 5, 1991

Moving to Chicago

So my sister's future in-laws came back one day and said, "We want you to come to Chicago. We want all of you to move to Chicago." And she got an apartment for us across the hall from her. And that apartment was like a house--three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full living, dining room, it was beautiful. Big enough for all of us. Even Ruth gave up her job in New York and came to Chicago with us, so the five of us lived there. And as soon as we arrived there, within the month uh, Margo and Leo got married and they each lived in the house with us too. He went to co...he was going to college at the time and I started school. I was fifteen years old and they put me in the eighth grade because of the language. And they sat next to a little boy who could speak Yiddish so he tried to tell me in Yiddish what the teach was trying to explain, you know, to...

Could you speak Yiddish?

Well, Yiddish and German are so close.



You never spoke Yiddish at home.

I never spoke Yiddish. Father's mother spoke Yiddish and boy, I picked it up like that, you know, we could converse real well and um, but I understood what he was trying, you know...

When you met your grandmother--when, when was the last time you had seen your grandmother?

The last time was 1938 just before--I didn't recognize her, I didn't know anything--it was my father's mother, Mabel Lang and, uh...

What was that reunion like?

She didn't recognize me to well. I think they thought at the time that she was senile but now we know more I think she had Alzheimer's disease because she just lived in the past. She called me a complete different name, I was not the granddaughter that she, you know, it was really sad. In fact, she passed away six months before Bill and I got married and I only had seen her once, once or twice for that all time that, you know, we were here. But we moved--like I said we moved to Chicago and I think there we were happy. I learned English pretty fast, I think, tried to and made new friends and I was very happy in, in Chicago because my sisters were with me. And whenever my parents got down on me, my sisters were right there in the middle, they always stuck up, you know, for me. Everyone worked. I babysat, I wor...I, I lied about my age, I wasn't even sixteen yet and she hired me and then when she found out how old I was, she fired me. I was afraid to go home because I was fired and--but we all had to work and, and hold, you know, together. So, we were there for two years. We lived two years in, in Chicago and I was very happy.

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