HOPE FOR A NEW LIFE

In Israel.

The Struggle

 
Ida and Joram were taken to the camp hospital. In later years, the story was still fresh in Joram’s mind. “I and my mother were sent inside the Doctor's office. Then my mother somehow convinced the Doctor to look away for a few minutes. We made our way to the window and slipped out and got away.” While they had escaped from the Nazis’ clutches, for the time being, they couldn’t stay in Slovakia. They hired a smuggler to take them to Hungary. While he normally dealt in goods and not in people, he agreed to take them on this trip. 
While the trip was harrowing, they made it to Hungary in one piece. The Hungarian government has close ties with the German and Italian governments, but it wasn’t controlled by either. Like Slovakia, Hungary began passing anti-Jewish legislation 1938, but it was not yet deporting Jews to German death camps like many surrounding countries. 
Ida found a Christian family willing to foster Joram, as she was worried that they would be identified if they stuck together. She even took a job in a different town to try and protect him. If she were captured, there was a chance he would not be found. However, she still visited him often, traveling to his home after work and on weekends, where she read him books and tried to help him learn Hungarian, which he had never spoken before. This system worked for about two years. But it wouldn’t last.  Hungary took serious losses on the Eastern Front, where they fought alongside Germany against Soviet Russia.  The King of Hungary authorized his Prime Minister to reach out to the Allied Nations to negotiate a separate peace. When Hitler discovered the duplicity, he invaded and occupied Hungary in March 1944, which meant that the Nazi SS gained access to the area.
Joram and Ida’s haven had become another Nazi puppet. Someone informed the SS that the family Joram was living with might be hiding a Jew. They entered the home and inspected Joram. Upon realizing that he was circumcised, they knew that they had found a Jew in hiding. Ida heard that the Nazis were headed to Joram’s home, and rushed to the scene, but she was too late. They arrested her, too. In a twist of cruel irony, they were sent back to the same internment camp in Slovakia that they had previously escaped from.  Like before, there was a waiting period before the trains arrived to take them to the death camps. When the trains arrived at the camp, Ida told Joram he was sick. Joram knew he wasn’t sick, but he knew better than to argue with his mother. He faked symptoms, and they were again sent to the doctor. And, once more, they were able to sneak out of the camp through his office window.
With Hungary under Nazi occupation and the Soviet armies in the east too far away to be of practical assistance, Ida and Joram had few options. They fled to the mountains, where a group of renegade Slovaks had formed an army, with the hopes of ousting Tiso’s collaborationist government and reuniting Czechoslovakia. The resistance took them in and gave them housing with other families inside a defunct lumbermill and warehouse. While Joram and Ida were again safe, it wouldn’t last. The Slovakian resistance, coordinating with the Czechoslovakian government-in-exile in London, launched an all-out attack on Tiso and the German forces in the country on August 19, 1944. 
The uprising was planned to coincide with the Soviet army’s attack on a key pass in North-East Slovakia that would have allowed the Red Army easy access into the country. Instead, the contingent sent to secure the pass was disarmed by the Germans without a fight, and the Soviets didn’t arrive at the pass until September 8. By October 28, they still hadn't taken the pass but had suffered 85,000 casualties in the process. This prolonged the war in Slovakia. In the meantime, the Nazis were able to launch a counteroffensive in Slovakia to put down the rebellion. By October 28, they had occupied enough of the country and captured or killed enough of the partisans, that the rebels were forced to disband. The Germans occupied the village Joram and Ida had been staying in, and they were forced to flee once more. 

A PROMISED HOME

When the war ended, Ida and Joram hoped to immigrate to Israel, hopeful of finding peace after spending years on the run. First, they spent 12 weeks in Italy, waiting for transport to become available. When it did, it took two days to make the journey. Ida, normally very strong, was sea-sick the entire trip.