Jozef Seweryn with friends in Eilat

Jozef Seweryn with friends in Eilat

This is me with my friends - I don’t remember their names. The photo was taken in 1956 in Israel, in Eilat, which used to be a fishing port. 

After the war it was a lot worse with anti-Semitism, as if the Poles had learned it from the Germans and the Russians. Jews would be attacked, murdered, persecuted. There's still some anti-Semitism, but right after the war it was a lot worse. People were leaving for Israel. At that time they would get people from all over Europe, from all over the world, to go to Israel. And in Poland they also suggested for the Jews to move there. So I went to Warsaw, to the embassy and I applied as well. I left in 1956 with my wife and children: 13-year-old Jacek and ten-year-old Krystyna.

We first arrived in Vienna. At first I wanted to stay there, but everyone said, 'Go to Israel, see what it's like there.' I wish I hadn't gone. I should have stayed in Vienna and asked for reparations from the Germans. But we went.

Israel looked nice in 1956. The state of Israel was created; a good thing that was; the Jews deserved it. I found a job in the aircraft industry as I had worked for the Germans in that field. I had experience from the camp, so when I came they employed me immediately, as a professional. I worked in the aircraft factory in Tel Aviv. There's an airport there - Ben Gurion. I went with my wife and children. It was my wife who later decided that we had to go back. And that was it, no discussions. Our son was sick, respiratory tract problems - he couldn't live in that climate. We left in 1959; I never went back there afterwards. 

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