Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Adele Sandel - [n.d.]

Married Life

That's where I met my husband and uh, we started to, to--he started uh, to be in business. He had a shirt factory.

In uh, in what country now?

In Czechoslovakia. And he was very successful. He had a Gentile partner who was very nice. He--after the war he didn't take away because there were some who took away everything. This one didn't. He gave back and he wanted to be partners again and they did and they made again shirts and he was selling textiles. There was lots of black market in those days, you know, so...

Oh, yeah...


...smuggling and black market.

Smuggling and black market. So you bought for $100,000, let's say textiles and you sold it. The next minute of the next hour it was such a market for $150,000 and he was a very smart and successful businessman. So, he became really a, a very successful man. We had a car and a chauffeur and a beautiful--when I married him, you know. In, in, in '48 I got married. My sister first...

Didn't you, didn't you want to leave Europe and go to America?

So, this is what I'm coming to this part. We already really started to be like Menschen again. We had a beautiful like a condominium, furnished, beautiful, gorgeous paintings. I can't afford paintings here like that I had there because you could buy them cheap. Never from the Jews. You know what they were killed so you went on the market and you got like they were selling uh, uh, in like, you have here, that big market um, the, the Eastern Market

Eastern Market, yeah.

That's how you could buy gorgeous linen and antiques and paintings and everything for close to nothing. We felt like in the beginning like our brothers and sisters beautiful things we should buy, but then we had all kind of meetings and we decided who should buy it:- the goyim, the Gentile? So we bought them. So, we had them. Beautiful again. We had gorgeous things and, and we traveled to beautiful spots and we had a maid again and I had a baby there. And, all of a sudden people started to talk about the Russians and it started that it is not good to stay here and everybody is leaving. And, what should we do? Where should we go? We should go to ??? it was Palestine in those days yet. But, we didn't have anybody in Palestine. Here, we had an uncle, a very good uncle, and he was bombarding us with letters. "Come and come. That's not a country to stay. It is going to be communist and come and come. Leave everything there and come," so we left again everything and we came here with nothing, with absolutely nothing. My fa...my husband was forty-years-old, didn't know the language, didn't have a penny.

You can't--you couldn't bring money or anything over?

No, they were very strict. There was a quota what you could bring. You could bring three pieces of crystal. You could bring three, three um, three suits and what, whatever they told you to bring. The rest they con...confiscated. Now I hear they are letting out from Russia. They can bring things, but when we were coming, we couldn't. But, he had money, Czechoslovakian money. Lots of money. Millions of korunas. Korunas were money there. But a dollar was so high--thousand koruna dollar. It went up every day, every day. First it started at fifty koruna, then a hundred koruna and I told him, "Let's buy dollars," and he says, "It is going to go down, don't worry, it's going to..." and that's how it went up, up, up 'til it became like thousand dollars so how much for one million koruna you have a thousand dollars.

It became worthless.

It became worthless, but I had jewelry so that's what we, we put in in--that we saved. I still have my two rings here and uh, we came here with nothing. No money. We were, we were um, we were in exile in Germany. In Bergen-Belsen we were waiting for the, for the DP--we became like DPs here and whatever we had we, we gave up.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn