Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Rotbaum Ribo - July 5, 2005

Moving to Israel

Let me ask you: was there a Zionist group in, in Głowaczów?

Not that I know of. I think there was, from what I heard from others, but not very active. There were people that were eh, interested, or were in favor of it, but I don't know whether there was. Actually, I didn't even ask.

So, you were never...


You or your family were never...

No, no. Never.

So this is all new to you?

That was all new, and eh, I decided to go to Israel. One of the first--1948--one of the first eh, youth aliyah groups from England to Israel, I was on it.

What was the ship?


What was the ship?

Eh, I don't remember, I don't remember. It was already--the establishment--it was already when the state was established...

The state had already been established. So they didn't intern you in there?

No, no, no. It was, it was official.

And the war had already ended? The War of Independence had ended?

Eh, yes, the war ended. But eh, there was, there was still fighting in the south, but eh, not where we were, not where we were.

So you didn't, you didn't come from there to fight?

No, I was too young. We went into, into eh, an agricultural school. And even before we came to Israel, in Lon...in England--there was a kibbutz in England, where they, eh...


Training, for to come to Israel. And we went for a few weeks there to that kibbutz. Before we were brought to Israel, we were in agricultural school and from the agricultural school, we--many of us joined the kibbutz. It was a religious agricultural school. In England, I was also in a religious environment.

Where, where did you live in London?

In Woodbury Barn, near Stamford Hill.

Okay. Did you say ???

No, no, no.

We were up in Golders Green...

Eh, Golders Green, that was a--there was also a hostel in Golders Green.

It was, it was very religious when we were there.


We didn't, we didn't know, but we found out within a day...

Yes, eh Golders Green was eh, religious. Also Stanford Hill was a very religious community, but a small one.

Swift Cottage was German Jews, I remember.

Yeah. And eh, that's it. And then from the kibbutz, I joined the army--the Israel army--at the age of eh, eighteen, eighteen-and-a-half. And eh, I stayed on--I went to an officers' course, and I stayed on in the regular army, together with the compulsory service, I did eight-and-a-half-years in the Israeli army. And...

You were an officer, probably...

Yes. Only a captain.

Only a captain.

And then I left, and I was eh, sent to, to Turkey as an assistant to the Israeli military attaché, and there I--for three years. And there I met my wife, and married.

In Turkey?

In Turkey, yeah.

Is she Israeli, or...

Oh, yes. But then she wasn't--she converted.

She converted?


So she wasn't ???

No, no, she was not Jewish. And um, we lived happily ever after.

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