Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Meeting Her Husband

Did your sister ever get out?

Yes, my sister came five years later to Israel.

With her husband.

With her husband and by then, and uh, with her two children. And my sister has been in Israel since. As a matter of fact this November I'm going to visit her.

But you didn't stay.

In Israel?


No, at the ripe age of eighteen I met a man from Detroit who came to fight during the War of Independence and thereafter went back to Israel--uh, to the United States--and came back and settled in a kibbutz. Didn't live in a kibbutz for very long, he went to the city, he was an engineer, six years older than I. And he helped to transfer from uh, United States to Israel a irrigation pipe factory. I met him. A few months later we got married. And two years later I came to the States the first time around.

How did you like it?

How did I like it? Uh...

Came to Detroit?

Came, I, I came first, as I say, to New York, and...in New York I was--it was a mixed bag, I was kind of uh, disappointed. I landed in Brooklyn and this fantasy land looked dirty and messy and very unelegant, with everything in the streets, life going on in the streets and it was a great disappointment. I didn't have any money, I didn't speak any English, so that was a problem too. But...

But you had a friend, right.

Pardon? I stayed with my, with the parents and the family of my pen pal, Esther. They were very caring and giving people, but they have their lives.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn