Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lily Fenster - November 8 & 10, 1994

Birth of Daughter

Where was she, she was born in the camp?

She was born in the camp. Like I say, she was almost--I think she was the first child and then as we talked to the guard, the guard, he's a big shot in Israel, is I red haired, handsome, full with shrapnel, because from the first, from '68, I think, he's 48 now. He was fighting constantly for Am...for, for Israel. In fact, he was on Sixty Minutes. I told you that you know, because he is in the, what do you say, the police all over that sector, because he's got, I mean, he doesn't fool around there. If you did wrong, he catches you, but this life was so...he was three times dead almost--he came back from there. And was--he's a devoted soldier, you know. We are with Rabin, he is like that. So they came back to the camp. It wasn't bad. We didn't know any better sweetie. What was, we had a place, nobody was yugging us that we Jews and uh, the food? Dave was a bright guy. He always did blackmail, blackmail, black market, you know. He bought coffee, he sold coffee. We had bread. We had a little margarine. We didn't have luxuries, but who need luxuries. If not, you could go also to the kitchen. We have soup and they supported us with egg powder, you know. And that you could make, but I didn't have an oven to cook, so I had a little bitty. He found some from the Germans, a little bitty, electric ??? with you know, those spirals, then they always burst.

Hot plates.

They always, it's hotplate, it's danger and it was laying and then I had a box from milk uh, for ???, dry milk and that was my furniture With newspaper, those smelling good and I had the room up there, there was--the ceiling was very close to my head. When I was nursing my daughter, whenever I sit up, I klopped my head. Oh it was a terrible--I almost fall asleep and he had to watch me I shouldn't fall asleep. That was terrible, but later I progressed. They gave me downstairs a room that wasn't so, such a high ceiling that I hit my head constantly and I could sleep a little in peace and there was families. And I had a bicycle already there. My dream came true and the minute I met Dave, I always had what I needed.

Did you every go back to Warsaw?

Yes. I was, I don't remember which year. '72 or '74.

I mean right after the war.

Seventy-two wasn't there--oh after the war. I don't think so. I was in Warsaw after the war, sweetie, no. ??? but I was. I don't remember. It was in Łódź, 'cause in Łódź we had to run away. They were killing Jews again.

You didn't think anybody in Warsaw was left.

When I seen '39 after things--even when I came back already, it was everything smashed. What I mean smashed, but smashed, but they made from Warsaw a ruin. A absolutely ruin, I mean. Wherever I went, the streets were bombed. I just didn't recognize it. Even when I was in the hospital. Even three months later when I came, you see still fires burning and the smell from the animals.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn