Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Monczyk-Laczkowska Ferber - December 7, 1999


Miriam Monczyk-Laczkowska Ferber was born in 1942, in Sosnowiec, Poland. In 1942, Miriam and her family were moved to the Srodula ghetto on the outskirts of Sosnowiec. The Nazis murdered Miriam's father in the ghetto. Miriam's mother asked the Laczkowska family, prior neighbor and Polish family to take the infant Miriam in until her mother could retrun and reunite with her. The Laczkowska's smuggled Miriam out of the ghetto, however, Miriam's mother and brother were deported to a death camp and likely, were murdered upon arrival. Miriam spent the remainder of the war in the care of the Laczkowskas. She was portrayed by the family as the illegtimate daughter of the oldest Laczkowska child and raised as a Polish Catholic. Near the end of the war, Mr. Laczkowska was deported to Gusen, a sub-camp of Mauthausen, where he died of typhus. Following the end of the war, Miriam continued her life as a Polish Catholic. While still a teenager, Miriam found out about her Jewish background. As part of a program developed by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to bring European Jews to America, Miriam was purposely seperated from her mother and brought to America.

Link to Portraits of Honor Project

  1. Introduction
  2. German Occupation
  3. Fate of Jewish Family
  4. Family Background
  5. Story given to Germans
  6. Church
  7. Scarlet Fever
  8. Polish Mother's Resourcefulness
  9. Post-War Life
  10. Post-War Anti-Semitism
  11. School
  12. Suspects Background
  13. Dislike of Church
  14. Discovers Background
  15. Reaction
  16. Friends' Reactions
  17. Feelings About Polish Family
  18. Learning about Judaism
  19. Relations with Non-Jews
  20. Feelings Toward Jewish Mother
  21. Orphanage
  22. Return to Polish Mother
  23. Return to Polish Mother, Continued
  24. Rabbi Hirsch
  25. Kraków
  26. Brussels
  27. Separated from Mother
  28. Switzerland
  29. The Rebbitsen
  30. Rabbi Kreiswirth
  31. Antwerp
  32. Resentment
  33. Immigration to America
  34. Relatives in America
  35. New York
  36. Meets Future Husband
  37. Wedding
  38. Reflections
  39. Hidden Children Group
  40. Returns to Poland
  41. Polish Family Visits America
  42. Reflections on Polish Family

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