Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Berek Rothenberg - May 20, 1984

Trying to Move to Palestine

An American?

Naturally. I was with the--and I went to this rabbi and he started asking me questions, "Where you from?" and how and everything--where I want to go. I say, "I want to go to Palestine." He said "Okay," he said, "Uh, you stay awhile and I got something." So another group of Jewish people came to see this rabbi and this rabbi went and connect me with the other group--put us on a truck, and he drove us straight through to Linz. And we were in Linz, and then we got connected with the, with the Bri...with the Bri...uh, Bri...that the Israeli Army.

The uh, Jewish uh, Brigade?

Brigade. Uh, and they were--they mostly were like--they were the Brigade and they were, they were workers what they, they took--brought over the Jewish people to the Aliyah Bet already try to bring them over to, to Palestine. So they took me from Linz, I went to Salzburg. From Salzburg I went to Villach--that's in Austria. From Villach I went on a train and I came to Italy. And I stayed in Italy four years.

Where in Italy?

All over. In Rome, in Bari, Lecce, Napoli, Genoa. It's no--in Venice. Every where's a place in Italy I was.

Were you working there?

No, just I made myself a Red Cross passport. And you go in on the, on the train and you say you're, you're a refugee and, and you traveled from one end to the other one.

How did you eat? How did you sleep?

We got the Red Cross helped us. And then I was in the UNRRA--United Nation Refugee Relief Organization. And then I went to camp and uh, the first camp was in, in uh, Padua, and then Maria Di Leuca, and I was waiting to be shipped out to Palestine.

How were you treated by the Italian people?

Very good. Italian people very good. They didn't--very good. We lived in villas and we lived in Italy--I mean, they were treated. Then I got--I knew I had relatives in the United States so I start uh, to look for them and we found each other and that's when I came to the United States.

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