Ibolya Grossman

Country of Origin:

Hungary

Themes:

Citizenship, Immigration, Adjusting to Life in Canada

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Ibolya came to Canada from Hungary due to the increasing antisemitism. She describes the opportunities she was able to obtain, and the life Canada was able to offer her.


Story

My name is Ibolya Grossman. I came from Hungary in 1956, during the Hungarian revolution, and I arrived in Canada in 1957, January.

The reason I left... came from Hungary... because during the revolution, the anti-semitism flared up, and it was so bad. And they blamed for everything again, the Jews. And then, because I am Jewish, I didn't want to go through again what I went through before during World War II. So I asked my fourteen year old son, what would he think to come and leave the country? Actually, he was shocked because he had a good time there. He liked the school, the teachers, the friends. Mostly his swimming, because he was trained for the next Olympics in swimming. So then I explained to him why I wanted to leave the country, because during what happened in the war, he was only a two year old baby. So I told him everything. Why he doesn't have a father - he was killed. And then finally he said, "OK, mother. I agree. Go."

I also have to tell that I married again in 1958 to my second husband, Grossman, and when we all got our citizenship, I was really, really happy. That was one of my happiest days in Canada, but I have another one which - I was so proud and so happy that I achieved something which was writing a book after my retirement. The book title is, "An Ordinary Woman in Extraordinary Times." The next year I got an award, and also they used it at the York University in woman's studies and also life studies.

Canada means a lot to me, and I am grateful that Canada finally took us in.