Refusal of legal emigration to Israel

Refusal of legal emigration to Israel
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This is the document of legal emigration refusal, which ended all my efforts to emigrate from Poland. The largest wave of emigration was between 1945 and 1950. You either needed an invitation or you went illegally - to Israel, to Palestine. As for me, my uncle promised to get me out. Uncle Luzor kept in touch with the family in Poland and pressed them to get me to go out there. When I went to HIAS [Hebrew Immigration Aid Society], and asked if there was any chance of going to Argentina, they said that they could pay for me as far as Gdansk or Gdynia. I could have paid that, too; it was the journey on from there that was the problem. I didn't go. Another one of my uncles promised that we would go together, but I wasn't to tell anyone. He was going with his sister-in-law, because his wife had been killed. And he went. His ex-fiancee told me that if I would work with her then I could go with her. I worked for her for a few months. And she went and I stayed. Before that, my uncle ordered me to split from my friend, who I'd been in the camps with, and in Georgia, and in Cracow. And that friend went too, and I was left alone, high and dry. So they all fleeced me. And then when I tried to arrange to leave through official channels, the authorities refused me. I paid 5,000 zloty, and went [to Warsaw] for a passport, because I received a summons. So I went and stood in the queue at the Ministry of Public Administration in Warsaw. This tiny little window; there weren't any bars like there are in prison, you just stood in the corridor. Apparently ten people were refused that time, and I was one of them. They told me to go back home and go to work. So I went; it was a holiday, the end of Sukkot.

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Interviewee: Daniel Bertram
Edyta Gawron
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Krakow, Poland


Daniel Bertram
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