Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Moving to Israel

Yes, well, at what point did you begin to think about leaving Poland?

I didn't think, I really wasn't anxious to leave Poland. My only uh, desire at, at all to leave Poland is the excitement of seeing other countries. And if I would have an option of seeing other countries, I would not have chosen Israel, but this was the only option available. Uh, you couldn't...

Through what agency?

I don't know, some, again, Jewish agency. Must be the Israeli Aliyah. And my sister and her husband and my mother wanted to leave Poland. Again, they were not Zionists. Not that they wanted to go to Israel, but they wanted to leave Poland and this was the only option. So, still even so as an orphanage, my--they were my family and I didn't want to be left alone. So part of it is because they left. And I look for an excite...or because they wanted to leave, I shouldn't say they left--and uh, the excitement was to see another world and Israel was another exotic place that uh, uh, I kind of had fantasies about but didn't know much really what it was. I said not really that they left but they wanted to leave because the Polish government refused to give my sister and her husband permission to leave the country.

But you and your mother were okay.

So we decided, or the family decided and my mother and I should go and they would keep on applying. That it might never come a time when they give us all four because if I get a little older they might not let me go. So my mother and I left.

And you went to where?

Haifa. To Israel and to Haifa. So, the decision--so, it was not a great desire to go to Israel. I felt quite content in Poland and I wan...and I saw a lot of opportunities to study and I had a great hunger for, for learning and uh, fantasized all kinds of things that I wanted to do with medicine and theater and psychology. And I don't know how at that early age I was fascinated in uh, psychodrama.

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