Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sigmund Rubin - January 12, 1982

After the War

So we decided to leave that place. But we were not, we were not in a position to leave on our own. So we have to, we had to ask the authorities who brought us down to replace us. There were three more families there that came from Germany to Warren, Pennsylvania. One was a very orthodox person. They had no jobs for us. I worked in a factory. I never worked in my life this type of work. But I took it uh, I liked it because, you see, I, I worked, I made a few dollars and I could support myself and my family, I was happy. But the only thing that bothered me the most was there was no future. I couldn't go to school at the time. I had no other choice but to work in that factory. And this I didn't like it. So we decided that we want to leave. So they... I wanted to go to New York because I have cousins in New York who also came from Germany. But in, at, at that time there were too many people in New York and they couldn't place us there. So they sent us to Detroit because I was a good worker and they felt that if I'll come to Detroit there are factories here and uh, it would be easy for me to find a job. As a matter of fact, I came to Detroit, we came to Detroit uh, about three weeks before the high holidays in September in 1949 and right after the holidays I had a job and worked ever since. I mean, you know, I found a job then I worked at Ford. And uh, I wasn't a burden to the community, thanks God.

What were your, what were your first impressions of the United States?

I loved it. I loved it.

Did you encounter any problems when you first came?

No, I can't complain, I can't complain. I, I mind my business. You know, I had a job, I worked. I was happy, I was pleased and I can't complain. I was very much happy that uh, finally we came to a country, to a free country. Un... unfortunately, I found out... I worked at Ford's at the time and I got uh, uh, to know a man, a black man and uh, we got to talk a little bit and he told me. One day he came from uh, he came to work and he wasn't himself. I asked him what's wrong, he says his wife came back from the South and he told me about the stories from the South that uh, black people couldn't uh, uh, walk the streets with white people, couldn't go into a re... I couldn't believe. I says, my God, how can this happen here? It was unbelievable. But somehow, you know, you get to know and you see what's going on and uh, you make the best out of it. I'm glad this doesn't exist anymore now.

Did you talk about your experiences uh, with anybody?

Yes, I, I, I talked among our friends, you know. We always talk, you know, one tells his story and one tells his story. We talk about it quite often.

I want to go back a little bit. When you, when you were going from farm to farm, how did you know which farm to go to? How could you know where it was safe to go?

You see, I told you, we were, when I, by myself I never went by myself, with one exception, when I was running away from that shoot-out. That was one exception. Other, other than this I didn't go by myself. I wasn't, you see, I didn't, I didn't look for places to go. I didn't look for places, for any places to go because nobody knew me, nobody would get involved with me, see.

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