Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Monczyk-Laczkowska Ferber - December 7, 1999

Post-War Anti-Semitism

I see.

They're going to kill you because they collect blood, because, you know, they have to make a matzo out it.


So, so make sure you don't go and uh, you know. And, of course, sometimes I take it seriously and sometimes I don't. And I myself begin to think twice about who are the Jews, what do they look like? Uh, Jewish people have horns, I hear they, you know. I never seen a Jewish person in my life, I don't know what a Jewish person looks like, at that age, you know, so. But I'm beginning to be tired of it, because even the children on my uh, in my courtyard, the ones that I play with call me uh, Jew. And some, some neighbors call me--which is a very--it's not a derogatory uh, expression but it's. I don't like it. It's a, it's a term of endearment. It's like Jiduvetshka, which is, Jiduvetshka, it's like, it's not a nice way of say it.

How would you translate Jiduvetshka?

It's a terms of endear...it's a Jew. It's a Jewish girl. But it's, Jiduvetshka, it's like, I would call myself, not Miriam, I would call myself Miri or, or, which sounds nice. But, in that, that. It, you cannot translate it. It's a term of endearment, but it's, it's not nice. Jiduvetshka. It's better, it's better. I always, even when I go, go to Poland, I don't like when, when somebody says, oh, I had a friend, they go, "Jidka." Say it, a Jew. Don't say it Jidka or Jiduvetshka. You know, it's, it just, it's not nice. They think it's nice.


And I hear all these remarks, so I come to my mother and I say, "Look, I don't understand." So my mother looks at me and she says, "Listen, don't, don't listen to them. You look, you look like a gypsy and they could think that you are a gypsy maybe or something. But you are beautiful," she says, "look at you. You are a beautiful child. So you look like a gypsy, so big deal. Next time tell them, kiss my ass." Excuse me, that's what she said in Polish, which was not nice because she was, she was. She says, "Next time he calls you like this, especially, tell him, kiss my ass." You know, something like that.

Did you do that?

Sure I did.

Did you? [laughs]

I, especially when I got permission from my mother, I did that.


But then, the horror started because um, I went to high school.


I finished my elementary school at the age of fourteen. Seven grades. Now I went to the eighth grade, I started high school.

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