David Nemetz: Receiving Help from the Jewish Immigration Aid Society
Date:Wednesday, July 24, 1974
ID:Digital audio recording #: 19.74-05
Interviewer: Ann Krieger & Myer Freedman
DN: And we landed in Quebec. And Quebec we landed on August the 18th or 19th because I arrived in Winnipeg on August the 22nd.
AK: What year was this again?
DN: 1912. But one thing I want to tell you, when I arrived in Canada and when they asked me for money I was supposed to have at least $50 to show that you’re not going to be a burden to the country. My brother wrote me that I have to say that I haven’t got any money because I’ve got a brother in Canada. Well, they asked me for money, I said, “I haven’t got any.” I only had really 50 cents, that’s it but I said, “I haven’t got any.” So, they couldn’t make out heads or tail. And they knew that I had to travel for three days on the train, three days and three nights but I didn’t realize, so I was singled out to the side and put away in a waiting room and I sure thought I was going to be sent back because…And I waited for many, many hours ‘til a Jewish Immigration Aid man turned up and he told me that I should go along with them. I went with them and the train was still waiting, for that matter I think it waited ‘til I got on. They loaded up me with three full gunny sacks of food for the journey.
AK: Would this have been from the Jewish community of Winnipeg or from the Canadian…
DN: No, that’s in Quebec. That’s the Jewish Immigration Aid Society, you see this was, I want to make that clear. This is what I want to get [in there]. So I had more than I could eat and therefore—there was other immigrants too going to Winnipeg and I shared most of my food with them. They could use it too because there was big families. This is how I came to Canada. In Canada, in Winnipeg, my brother met me there not with a Cadillac and not even with a Ford but he met me with a bicycle which I never rode a bicycle in my life. He put me on the handlebars and he carted me, I would say about 20 blocks. That was the first thrill in Canada.