Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Josef Slaim - February 7, 1982

Being Zionist

Before the war, what were your political affiliations?

I was always uh, Zionist. I brought up in uh, I was brought up in a Zionist way. I used to belong in the Zionist organiz...organization, you know. It was an--we had a nice uh, group uh, boys mit the girls. We used to live very nice. I mean, uh, fine. We spent nice times mit them together, and...

Did you know anybody that went to Israel, at that time?

To this time, yes. We was brought up in a Zionist way. In uh, as a matter of fact, I was always for it to go to Israel. But that doesn't work out. It's not like uh, we wanted, you know. It's the same thing like uh, all of a sudden I got drafted. Couldn't run away otherwise uh, mein uh, family would be uh, responsible for it, you know. But I always was uh, mein whole thing was to go to Israel. As a matter of fact, I was in Israel. I am going every year to Israel for most of the time since I'm here.

You have Mischpoke there?

Yes. Mein uh, wife has three uh, brothers, they're living. Course one just past away two years ago. But we--whenever we want to go--taking vacation, we go to Israel. And I was over there probably about fifteen already in Israel since then.

They must like to see you coming.


Here comes the plane, here he is again!


I've been there four or five times myself. I really like it.

Oh, I know Israel very well. As a matter of fact I was there last year also by the gathering. If you know, uh...

I saw it on the television. The gathering of...

Yes, the gathering in Tel Aviv in Jerusalem. Yes.

Weren't you, weren't you asked to make a little cassette and take it over there uh, for the gathering?

In Israel? For the gathering, I did nothing. Because I knew it how it's gonna be. I had uh, imagination that that's gonna happen. If you getting crowded like I wasn't, but if you're stopping in uh, Tel Aviv in uh, what do you call this in uh, in Tel Aviv? Uh, you got several thousand people beside you. Six or seven--they said ten thousand people. What you can do there? You couldn't even hear a word. It's no easy. It's, it's so many people. You cannot even see. I--we went here from Detroit was a ??? which we made up that we gonna get together, we gonna sit together. We couldn't even find them there. You know, it's impossible. It's so many people. It's just uh, not so easy to uh, get in contact mit somebody or hear somebody. So, it was not useful me this. I...

You know we're gonna make uh, a duplicate of this and send it to Yad Vashem. You know this?


So this will be in Yad Vashem. Did you...

[interruption in interview]

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