Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irene Sobel - September 8, 1998

Adjusting to American Life

The baby was about a year old when you came here from Israel?

My son?

Was it your son?

My son was exactly a year old when he came here.

What was his name?

Avner. Like Abner, with a "v" but in Hebrew it was pronounced Abner. Yeah.

So you relocated.

Relocated, yes. And uh, it was--it was not much of an adjustment. I did not swallow the culture with everything that was in it. I was very selective. And there were some aspects of the social and personal relationship with--between people that were not, I was not very supportive of. This kind of everyone to himself, not much sharing and not much caring. I know when I was in Israel we had a--we lived in an apartment. I would live, when I wanted to go out in the evening and had a baby I would leave our door open and the neighbor across would leave her door open and she would just pop in to see periodically if uh, the baby was asleep and that was it. And there was a great camaraderie. It was difficult for me to accept this thing, this concept, the notion of privacy to the point that people lived in total isolation.


Uh, and when they would say, "Hello, how are you?" they didn't mean really, they really didn't want to know how you are.

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