Coming Through Canada

"Gratitude that these people who didn’t know them personally were willing to bring about their immigration."

"Well, when they [Ruth and Hildegard] graduated from school, they were assigned to becoming apprentices in various businesses, and Harrogate was a very popular location for tourists. They had spas and very fancy salons there. So my aunt became very proficient in her beautician work, and my mother worked in a very fine  store as well.

My Aunt Edie immigrated, I believe in nineteen-forty--- I’m not sure exactly when-- to America. And by then, my Uncle Julius, who had been in Cuba, and his son and his wife had made a home for themselves in Illinois-- in Forreston, Illinois, near Rockford, Illinois. And so my aunt went to live with them, and she continued to ply her trade. She went to school for a beautician as well-- Aunt Edie this is-- and she saved her money so she could afford to bring her sisters over.

And Tante Elsa, who was in Jacksonville, appealed to the synagogue, to tell them about her nieces and nephews who were in Germany, and then eventually in England, and she asked for anyone’s help who would be willing to sponsor them. She was not a citizen herself. And a very generous, philanthropic family named the Mizrahis volunteered because they were very fond of my Tante Elsa, who had become a caterer. And she was the only kosher caterer in Jacksonville, Florida, for 35 years. And they said that they’d be willing to sponsor them.

And so my mother and Aunt Hiddie in England, when they first got to England in 1938, wrote a letter to these Mizrahis and said that they were so appreciative, that they were looking forward to being reunited with their parents, because at the time there parents were still alive, and that they would be in touch. But then the war eventually broke out in England, and they weren’t able to leave.

And then in 1944, my mother wrote a second letter to them, because they were still willing to sponsor them. And at that point, they suspected that their parents were already gone. And they were still very much in gratitude that these people who didn’t know them personally were willing to bring about their immigration. So they left in December of 1944, and they were in a convoy of five ships-- five battleships-- and two of them were destroyed by enemy fire. Fortunately, theirs was not. And they immigrated to Nova Scotia, Canada, to Halifax. And they arrived in January of 1945."