Interview Describes journey to Philippines, refugee.
The way the trip went was we left one evening, went to the local railroad station in Berlin, that at that time was called Anhalterbahnhof. It no longer exists as such. Hopped on a train. It was a sleeper. We went overnight, changed in Munich, next morning, and from there we began to head toward Italy, the border. We went through Austria, and the train was stopped in Brenner, Brenner pass, which is the border between Austria and Italy. There everybody had to get out. The German side, we were searched, body search, all the luggage was searched. That delayed everything. The train left without us. We had to wait another six hours for the next train. We got on that and arrived in Genoa, Italy, about 4 in the morning, and headed for a hotel that had been arranged. And then we spent two days in Genoa, I believe, and boarded the ship. It was the "MS Victoria," by name, it was run by a shipping company called Lloyd Triestino, and we departed on that ship which was full of Jewish refugees, most heading for Shanghai, where some 17,000 ended up eventually. They did not need visas, they just needed landing permits. Which is well explained, there are several books on the subject that are very good. And our first stop was in Naples, we didn't go ashore. The next stop was in Port Said, Egypt, where the British wouldn't let us off. The British would not let anyone off the ship who had a red "J" in their passport. The red "J" stood for "Jew," and the British knew that, of course, so they did not let us off. I guess they feared we would stay in Port Said. I don't know why, it's not a very nice place. We transited the Suez Canal. It was very interesting for a kid of 8, seeing all those camels and that stuff. It's right on the edge of the Sinai Desert, which became more famous later. We ended up coming out of the Suez Canal in Aden, which I think a number of you have now heard about, or most of you. And then from there to, the next stop would be Bombay, India, but before we landed in Bombay a curious thing happened on the ship. There was an Indian family, a man, a wife, and a beautiful daughter, and they were coming back from Germany. He had been there for medical treatment. And this one morning they arrived at breakfast and she was wearing a sari. It was green and had white swastikas on it. Now when a ship is full of Jewish refugees, you could imagine the reaction. But obviously it was fine with her, after all it is a symbol that the Nazis did not invent, and so people knew that, and most of them did, but by lunchtime she changed into another outfit and he came around to people saying, very apologetic about that incident.