Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Malka Sternberg - January 31, 2008

Father Escapes to Palestine

You said your father had, had to go away...


...so your father was in Poland? Is that where he went?

My father is a story to himself--a big story. He went to Poland and there he had a half sister. My grandmother married a man with this child of six--a little girl and she brought her up as her mother and there was a very close relationship between them. And this, this girl--this little girl already had ten children by then and my, my father and his brothers they all joined there--she had a basement there and they slept in the basement. But my father didn't want to stay with the Germans, he said, "I'm not staying with them. I'll try and cross the border and if I get through I'll send you a postcard and you all can come one after the other." He came through and got through and he sent the card and his brother--his one before the youngest brother--his brother Leo--and two of the children of this aunt who was called Yenta they tried to cross the border but they were caught and they were sent to Siberia and they spent the whole war in Siberia and one of the boys was died there. So, that was how my father got out and then, then he went--he didn't like the Russians, he didn't--he wasn't ready for the Russians. He didn't like them and didn't want to stay so he went to Lithuania and there is the story that you probably know about the Dutch consul and the Japanese consul--you know this story?


Well, my father was one of these people. He went all the way to Japan and since he was one of the few who wanted to go to Israel--he didn't wait to go to American or didn't want to go to America or Canada so there was a boat--tub of a boat--boat you couldn't call I've got the picture where he went to Israel, it took him six months. It was already after Pearl Harbor when they got onto the boat and it took him six months to get to Israel.

And you know--you and your mother knew where he was?

No, we didn't know where he was. We got a card from Russia somewhere and we knew he was there and from Ukr...from Japan, Japan we got letters. In Japan and then in '42 he was already in Israel.

Husband: Israel?

Here, yes.

Husband: Palestine.

Well, Palestine, yes, you're right.

So, it was up to your mother to...

My mother couldn't...

...to keep the family in order.

She did, she did.

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