Irena Wygodzka on the ship to Israel

Irena Wygodzka on the ship to Israel

This is a picture of me, taken on a ship going to Israel in the 1960s.

I always received a passport when I used to go to Israel as a tourist, to visit my mother and sisters. Before emigrating there, I went there some five or six times. I never had any problems, I would go alone or with my children.

Mother died in 1966. All those years I was in touch with my mother and sisters. Both my sisters got married. Their husbands were born in Israel, but their parents were from Poland.

Both my sisters and my mother went to Palestine straight from Germany. Zosia left with a youth group in 1945 or 1946. It was called Aliyah Noar.

It was the last transport for Palestine, the next one went to Cyprus. The British were not admitting anyone any longer. Mom went with Jadzia. They left in 1947 legally, with papers, and they got there without problems.

My husband never wanted to go to Israel, but in 1967, he decided to go. Anti-Semitism knew no limits then. We left in 1968, in January. The entire period preceding our departure was horrible.

We were followed, our phone was being tapped. Even our son wanted to leave, because he had experienced anti-Semitism at school, for example children would write in his notebooks:

'Go away to Israel.' My daughter experienced anti-Semitism, too.

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