Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sally Tuchklaper - March 2, 1983

Life in Canada and the United States

During the time that you were in Montreal were there any problems that you encountered?

No, because my husband went to work right away. And why cause problems that we weren't having? That he, he came in through the JOINT, what do you call it? And they had a room for us ready. I had a baby first ten months. And uh, and we arrived Friday afternoon and Monday morning he went to work. And he worked all the time. Whatever he made, it was sweet.

Did you or your husband ever encounter any anti-Semitism in Montreal?

I don't think so.

How about when you came to the United States? Did you receive the same type of welcome?

No, see when we arrived in United States it was different already. It was five years later. And we came on our own, so we had no problems with nobody. We arrived here and my husband looked for a job--he got a job and we worked and we made the best of it.

Did you become a citizen?

Oh, yes. After five years I became a citizen of United States.

When you first went to Montreal did you talk about your war experiences with the people that...

With some of them.

...you encountered there?


How did these people respond to the stories you had to tell?

Very warmly, very warmly. You know, when you arrive, something new. I heard that some people from my hometown was there. They came to see me. They ask me if I need help. Oh yes, they ask me if I need help. But thank God I didn't, you know. My husband could go out and work and bring home at the end of the week a few dollars that I can go out and buy food and this was more than enough.

How about when you came to the United States? Did you talk about your war experiences with people you met here?

Oh, you always talk. You even talk now, too, with people that uh, you come and they walk sometimes around, you know, in the summer and they see the number and says, "Oh my God, you were there?" I said "Yes." "How was it?" You know, it's uh, you give them a brief uh, abbreviation of it now, you see, because you try to get away from it.

How many children do you have?

I have three children. I have one daughter and two boys.

And did you ever talk about your experiences with the children?

I talk to them. And they know. And I stop because it's painful. Believe me, it's painful. And they know what we went through.

Did your husband talk with his friends about his experiences as well?

Sure. My husband happened to be in a large family. Of twelve kids--ten kids and two parents, he's the only one left.

Are there times now when something, something will remind you of, of what happened during the war?

I don't think it ever gonna go away. You always have it in your mind that you be thankful, you know, whatever came out of it. You see, we did not have no choice to protect us--ourselves or to fight back. We could not do this. We had to do whatever we were told. And ??? If not, we could uh, get beatings, lashes and anything else. A punishment. No food for two or three days. So we could not protect ourselves. That's why we have to fight now and to keep Israel strong. That is the only goal for us now.

Do you have nightmares as a result of these experiences?

Sometimes, sometimes.

Still to this time?


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