Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Mark Webber - December 13, 2004

Moving to the United States

Was this the reason, was this the reason you decided to, to come to the States, instead of...

Well, yes, because um, before this, we would've under no circumstances gone anywhere else other than Palestine, even though it meant going and taking some risks, like the British. But of course, as far as--no, no one would've, would've uh, imagined that after having survived, and for a family of seven to survive intact the war like this here. And we had family in the United States that were anxious to bring us over, and they kept on sending us affidavits to Poland. And when my sister and I came to Germany, they would send us affidavits there, and we--at that time, before we knew about all this here, we dis...discarded--we probably must've thrown away in the waste basket. But they kept on coming, and then we decided that since we cannot go legitimately that we will go to the United States. By then my sister that was with me in the kibbutz, fell in love with the leader of the kibbutz, and she was pregnant, and she was able to get a certificate to go legitimately to Palestine. So she went by herself to Palestine, and she gave birth to a baby girl. And then my brother-in-law was given a certificate to go and join them. So they wound up in Palestine. And, and, and to this day, my sister is still alive and she has children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Israel. So um, and we--the four of us decided to go to the United States, and we registered with the consulate in uh, in Germany and we waited to uh, to be approved.

Uh, we just have a, a few minutes, few minutes left. I want to ask you, I want to ask you a different kind of question. Um, you did not speak about this very much um, after the war, and almost to the--to this day, I think. Why is that?

Well, when we came to Poland and we started to see in Łódź all these survivors that have come through uh, the death camps uh, and um, and the stories that they were telling, we felt sort of speechless that what we survived, what we had gone through--while we were going through that, we felt--and I myself was saying this to myself, "Oh, gosh, if I survive all this here, I'm sure the world, when we come out, they will just embrace us, they will carry us. Uh, just kiss us that we survived." But when we heard the enormity and the struggles and the fear and what each of these people had gone through--so ours was minimal, obviously. So there was nothing to talk about--I became speechless. You gotta remember that at that time, even the Jewish population--even in the United States--and my relatives did not encourage us to go and talk about our experiences. But the survivors among themselves, while we were in the DP camps and on the kibbutz, we--they were telling each other stories but even there I was numb, I was speechless. There--I was listening to what that--they were telling us and the same thing is today. I did not--in fact, I think maybe fifteen years ago I asked you--I says, "Am I considered a survivor?" I don't know if you remember this or not...

I do.

And you then said, "You definitely are." Well I am a survivor but you had so many here that had so much more to tell, and they knew more what happened to the people, to the--we had a miracle what happened, actually, what to us--it was a tragedy that befell only my town--only the people from my town that we were singled out that from the very first month of the war we became refugees. We lost our homes, our ancestry and our uh, family contact with anybody in the family, without knowing what is going to happen. So it was nothing short of a miracle and in that Yizkor book of Pułtusk uh, some writer in there says that this is called, in a way, the nes of Pułtusk--the miracle of Pułtusk. Were it not for the fact that they took us out on the 26th of September, we probably would have not survived at all.

Remember you, you weren't, you weren't supposed to be here. According to the plan, you were not supposed to be here.


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