Lily and Kalman experienced Hitler's entrance into Vienna after the Nazis seized power. When they saw the enthusiasm with which the Austrians greeted the Nazis, they decided to marry and go to Palestine (now Israel). First they joined family members in Italy. Then they traveled to Zurich, Switzerland, in hopes of getting money from the Joint Distribution Committee.
They were arrested for entering the country illegally and sent back to Italy. With the money they had received, however, they were able to sail for Cyprus, a British Crown colony and the only country that would give them a visa. There they stayed and made a life for themselves, hoping eventually to get to Palestine.
But by June 1941 when the Germans started bombing Cyprus, the British built a camp for the Jewish refugees in Nankumba, Nyasaland (now Malawi). After a brief stay in Palestine while the camp was being built, the Habers settled into Nyasaland. Life was hard, but the Habers managed to find work and a home for themselves on a plantation. They had a daughter Ruth and a second, Suzanne, was born right after the war. In January 1947, the Habers were finally able to board a small troop carrier, the Marine Karp, .and come to the United States to join family.