My brothers were in labor camps during the Holocaust and then moved to Israel after the war.
My husband Erwin and I left Berlin by train to Italy and then by ship to Shanghai. Erwin bought tickets aboard a cruise ship, believe it or not. When we finally got to China, it was a great shock. We were taken from the ship and put onto a truck and taken into the ghetto. Erwin was 34 and I was 17. Erwin told me that he would take me out of Germany to China but only if I married him. He died one year after we came to America. I remarried Mr. Joseph Moritz and we were married for 25 years.
The Japanese took the ghetto over from the Chinese shortly after we arrived. Apparently, Hitler told the Japanese to annihilate the Jews. The Japanese did not do so as they saw the value of having Jews. They knew that eventually the Jews would want to go to America and they did not want to upset America at that time.
We stayed in China till the end of 1948 until HIAS brought us to America. We went from China to Hawaii to San Francisco. The women and children stayed in San Francisco, the men went to Detroit to find work at the at the Big Three car companies and to find housing.
We lived in one room and there were rats there. There was starvation and diseases. Cholera was rampant. It was very bad.
Once a year, representatives from HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) would come to the ghetto to check on us.
After the war, when we came to Detroit, I worked for the Jewish Community Center making sandwiches and soup, in what later came to be known as “Raisi’s Kitchen.” When someone was hungry, I would give them a sandwich, a danish, and a drink for free. My daughter Eva would tell me that I could get fired for doing that. I said, “I’m going to feed whoever is hungry.” I worked for the JCC for fifty years.