Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ruth Muschkies Webber - February 2, 1987

Immigration to Canada

So she made arrangements to pick you up and leave finally?

Finally she made arrangements for me, she placed my sister also in another children's home in Bielsko because she was very concerned that we have some normality and she placed my sister in Bielsko because it was a good children's home there and she, you see, even after the war you could not feel safe in the city that you came from, from our city anyways. We couldn't go to school there, we couldn't live in our city. It wasn't safe. So they set up those children's homes and uh, I guess money that came from America or many other places supported these homes because we were well taken care of. After she placed my sister there, she made arrangements to take me from Krakow over to Bielsko also, so we would be together. She finalized her arrangements to get out of Poland. After a while she realized that nobody else survived. The Jews tried to get out of Poland. My mother felt that we had to do the same. Through certain organizations, which I'm not aware of, what kind of arrangements she had made, at one time she came and picked us up and we went with a group, an illegal group naturally, into Czechoslovakia and from Czechoslovakia into Germany. And from Germany we found some cousins in Canada that insisted that my mother, my sister and I come to Canada. They sent us papers and we went to Canada. Toronto. We lived in Toronto with the Barkin family which were absolutely wonderful to us.

Were you encouraged to talk about this when you came to Canada?

Um, the family did a lot of questioning and yes we did do some superficial talk of places and things and people and incidents but not feelings, not experiences. As a child I did not remember places, I did not remember people, I only remembered faces and I remembered and felt things differently than I heard the adults around me discuss things and I felt well maybe I don't know. Maybe I didn't hear it right, maybe what I felt or saw at the time wasn't really so because after all, these people are talking about an incident and it's different the way I felt about it so I didn't talk about it. I didn't talk about it at all. If anybody would ask me about where I was I would say. They would ask me about certain things in my life would make me feel or take me back to an incident that was very unpleasant and I would maybe talk to my children occasionally, very seldom though. Or among survivors, we would reminisce about places and things, but that's as far as it went until I was at the gathering, I think in Philadelphia. I heard some children survivors speak and she said exactly the same thing of what I felt that we as children have different experiences of the same incident and have seen it differently and should not feel guilty that we do not remember the date or the place or exactly how it came about because I really don't. I heard a lot of things but I didn't feel they were important at the time to survive and anything that did not pertain to survival wasn't important to me.

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