Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

George Vine - July 5, 1983

Coming to the United States

What year was that?

Nineteen forty-seven, beginning of 1947.

So that was fairly early isn't it?

Very early, I didn't spend, I spent about a year in Germany or maybe it was about a year and a half, because, actually uh, '45 we were liberated in April the first. So April '45 a year in '46, a year and a half, because the beginning of August they sent for me already. It took about a month or two to process to come to this country. So uh, by January, already we--and then when I came here I wrote my cousin. I told him we have another cousin alive and brought him over.

What sort of relations were they, the ones who were here already, how were they related to you?

Uh, distant relatives.

Not, no uh, ???

I did have, yeah, a first no--I did have a first cousin that knew my parents extremely well. He is the one who was responsible. He didn't have the means, he went to distant cousins who had the money and made arrangements to bring me over, because I came over was paid for individuals, not by the government. Uh, but he was influential, he was the one who did all the work--leg work and everything. To go to those people and to tell them that they have a relative here and to make sure that they bring me over. And I'm very close with them, by the way, ??? and he lives in New York. Very, very close with them too.

And did the other people, the people that brought you over were they in Los Angeles? Or...

No, they were in New York City.

In the movie business?

But they, he was a attorney for Paramount pictures, but he used to at that time Mr. Balaban was the chairman of the board for Paramount pictures, and he flew into Hollywood and he got Mr. Balaban to make arrangements to go to Washington, whatever the case, to use uh, his influence. And it just so happened that it was easier for them, because uh, there was a quota for people who were eighteen year old, and I was, I think was just about eighteen or nineteen at the time. So it was easy enough for them to get papers for me and since they paid for it, it was a little bit easier; I didn't have to be on the regular quota where usually they took two years to come to America, like in two years earlier, all my whole Landsmann came two years later--'49.

So you came by yourself?

I came by myself and I stayed with my relatives.

In New York?

In New York and two months later I sent for my cousin. I told him, you know, and I was with them and after about a couple of months my cousin says, "They were very nice and now we have to do something on our own, cannot have them pay for us." He was just like me, also proud, very proud. So we got ourselves jobs and we um, got an apartment and we lived together until we got married.

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