Jack Diamond: The Journey to Canada

Posted by jyuhasz

Jack Diamond with photographs
Rights - JMABC
Diamond, Jack
Vancouver, BC
Thursday, September 25, 1997
Digital audio recording #: 19.97-07
Interviewer: Irene Dodek & Cyril Leonoff
ID:          And what was the trip over like on the ship? Do you remember the trip?
JD:         Nope. We went from Danzig to England. The worst trip I ever saw. It was only supposed to be 24 hours on the ship. It took us about two days. Everybody was sick. And that ship was going like that and like this. Terrible. You know, I had never went on a ship. [When I got out] of the ship it was just marvellous. And I woke up about 10 o’clock at night. Oh yes. I ate a hotdog with some mustard and then it all came up and I never ate mustard for probably another 20 years after that. I just couldn’t look at mustard anymore. And we got into England and then we got turned back by the…so we had to stay there another month and a half.
ID:          Where did you stay in England?
JD:         It was like an army camp.
ID:          Like a hostel.
JD:         Yeah, an army camp.
ID:         Was there a Jewish community there that helped feed you or look after
  you at all?
JD:         Nobody. I never saw anybody. The only time I ever got something and I obviously remember, I said, “If I ever had any money I’ll pay them back.” When I got on the train from wherever, Atlantic in Canada, they brought me, the Jewish people got a bag, oranges, apples, bread…I was very thankful.
ID:         So you landed in Quebec someplace, I guess, did you? That’s where the
  ship landed?
JD:         Yeah.
ID:          What were your first impressions of this land?
JD:         Well I’ll tell you, when I got on that train, sitting up here for five days. And they were heating it with coals, in the train, you know. I was sitting up for five days. And I saw all that wilderness you used to go through and I thought, “What in the hell did I let myself into?” I thought the whole of Canada was all full of lumber, you know. You know how the train goes through different places.

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