Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sigmund Rubin - January 12, 1982


What made you decide to come to the United States?

Well, I had no other alternative. I'll see in uh, in Israel, in Palestine at the time, we've heard so many things that, everything was unstable. And, you know, we went through so much. We were not in a position to go fight again. We went through so much it's just impossible. I'll tell you what, whoever will listen to that uh, will think, my God, would you believe me that when I think back now I don't believe that, that I went through all that stuff? I don't believe I, I, I...it's unbelievable. You see, to tell you and to go through every day, every moment was...we played with, with, with, with our lives every moment. It's just impossible. You see, every day had another chapter. Whatever I told you, everything is... If I would tell you in details all these things, you know, it's, it's, it's unbelievable. I regret one thing: that I didn't write a book about it because there's so much to say. There's so much about it that is... I don't know how, how one can go through things like this.

How, how is it that you came to Detroit?

You see, in 1948 they started to register in Germany. They started to register earlier, but whoever had any relatives. We didn't have any relatives. So in 1948 somehow the Joint made an agreement with the American government that they will take the responsibility for any refugee for two years, that we won't be a burden to the American government. They'll take care of us. So this is how we registered and this is how we came to the United States. We came to Warren, Pennsylvania in June, in uh, uh, in, in July, July the 1st of 1949. We came to a small town of about twenty Jewish souls. They greeted us nicely. They gave us shelter. I can't complain. We had, they, they did everything for us. The fact is I came the, the 1st and the 5th I went to work. I insisted that I want to work. I didn't want to walk around. I didn't want any charity. I never had any hand outs, I never had any charity from anybody. And I started to work on the 5th of uh, uh, July. I would have gone back the 4th but there was a holiday. And we stayed there about three months. You see, there were no schools. I didn't want to stay in a little town because we had a son. I didn't want him to grow up among... I wanted him to grow up among Jews, let's put it this way. And I saw that the people who lived there, their children drifted away, they moved away. The older generation stayed, but the younger people didn't want to stay there.

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