Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Life in Israel

When you left, what did your--what kind of parting was it from your mother and your sister?

When I left my sister, it was about a year after my sister came to Israel. We had been together for a year in the same country. A year after she came I left. Uh, well, I'm sorry second time around because I left once--talk about going to the United States and leaving my sister and mother. I remember first time when I left my sister wasn't there yet. I was very excited. It was two years after we were married. We lived in a Quonset hut, it used to be a shower room and we installed electricity ourselves. It had no ceiling, it had nothing in it. And I was very eager to earn some money so we can buy an apartment. In Israel there were no possibility of renting apartments at that time. And I was very excited to see the big America. Uh, it was everyone's dream to see America. So it was very exciting. And my mother accepted it as, that's my challenge. I didn't live with my mother even when I was in Israel before I was married. She lived in a tent city in uh, an hour maybe away from Haifa and I lived like what do you call it, like a YMCA for girls uh, with a few girls sharing a room, so we didn't--we would see each other, I would visit her whenever I could. But we were not--and she accepted it as my decision. It wasn't much. And I think she was glad for me and also--but I didn't go, we didn't go then with the idea of living in the States. At that time we went with the idea that we'll be back uh, that we will be able to have an apartment and that she will get our hut and come back and live in the city and not, and get out from the tent city. That she would get our Quonset hut--we just had a part of a Quonset hut, other families had others. When we came back to the, to Israel after living in the States for two years, both my husband and I were not happy. He was professionally not happy. He didn't find the opportunities where he felt he could grow professionally. And I was very eager to go to college and in Israel it would have been very difficult. Haifa just had a technical university. And I was very eager to go, to, to go to school.

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