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Sara Gelfand Memoir
Some of Us Rejoin Father in the U.S.
After three years in Buenos Aires my sisters finally departed for the U.S. to rejoin Father. At this time I already had a daughter aged three and a half and a boy of several months. It was difficult for them to separate from us and especially from my children. They were very close to Esther and Samuel, my children. Max, my husband, had been like a father to my sisters. Also both worked and had good salaries. They had rented a place were Rochl worked as a seamstress and Tilly with furs. They were young, capable and beautiful. They already had made friends and did not want to go to the US, in spite of Father's appeals. But they could delay no more; Father had made the necessary arrangements for immigration to the US for a third time. There were no problems for entering the US from Argentina, so they left and met with Father, who had relatives there who were to become uncles and aunts of my sisters.
But when they joined Father, they met with a surprise: Father had remarried . He explained that he did it shortly before their arrival, for he thought it would be to their good. Father's second marriage left them stunned and neither of them wanted to stay in the U.S. What did Father do in order to keep them and give them satisfaction? He sent them to school and did not allow them to work. Their stepmother was very good to them. Father bought the best clothes for them, took them to outing on Saturdays and Sundays, but his efforts were to no avail. Rochl did not stop crying and insisted in returning to Argentina to be with Sara and Motl. Father refused to pay for the return tickets. Rochl asked the relatives to do so but they also refused to help them to return to Argentina. Rochl wrote me that if she could not come back, she would kill herself.
We did not have enough money to send them return tickets. I asked father to show mercy and allow them to return, and he accepted on condition that Tilly would stay in the US. Tilly had a restrained character and accepted suffering, she was a very quiet girl – up to this day it is not easy to get a word out of her-- and she agreed to stay.