Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Weinberger - February 6, 1983

Coming to America

Was it um, was it hard to get papers to come to America? Was there any trouble?

Well actually I didn't work in the papers, you see. I had nothing to do with coming here because I was under, under 21. See, I think Mrs. Roosevelt, I would say, helped a lot of the--see people who left didn't have no family, lost their families. I think uh, the Jewish organization helped us to come here. We were under age, we had no place here to go. So I think the quota, we came outside the quota.

You said you were in Italy for two and a half years?

Two and a half years, yeah.

Did you work while you were there? Or did you...

No, was half uh, was half--we didn't work at all.


But, well I worked in the camp a little bit but, you know, I tell you what my job was, you might be laughing, but it's not a joke, but it's true. The work was only done so you could have a little pocket money, we were not paid. Some people had family in America, so they send them a few dollars so they had money, I had nobody to send money. Food we had for free. Half of it was from the UNRRA at that time, and half of it was the Joint, Jewish Joint. But you don't have a lot of money so I volunteered to pick up the garbage, like here there's a garbage man. Plain and simple, over there they call it sanitation, garbage, whatever it is. But it was dirty garbage, here is clean garbage it's already in bags, put up and tied up and, which is nice. Over there it wasn't like that. So they gave us a few pennies just to have a little extra pocket money, that's all. But otherwise working, no.

So you came to the United States in what year?

1948-- [yelling for dog].

And did you, did you stay, did you come right to Michigan or did you...

No, I came first to Cleveland, Ohio. Stayed there, I don't know how many months, not very long. We were there like in a, like in a "home."


People who cannot afford it, people without parents, something like that.


Yeah it's cold over there, too. And then from there some people with some kids uh, were sent to Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Detroit. Here I end up, my wife and I, we wound up in Detroit.


We went to the opposite side uh, when the time comes for us to, we'd like to be together, not to be split up.


So, because we were after the war, after the war we were together, too.

Mm-hm. And where did you stay in Detroit?

First we stayed in a hou...in a family, I should say. On Linwood.

Did you go to school here?

Yeah I remember going to school.

When were you um, did you become a citizen?

Oh yeah.

When? When was that?


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