Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Monczyk-Laczkowska Ferber - December 7, 1999


So you spent...


a year, you were Krakow for a year...

Yes, for a year.

And you knew you were leaving in a year.


And your mother knew it as well?

No, we, uh. She didn't know for sure. But we were talking about spending vacation.

Just for--temporarily.

So it's nineteen...right. So in 1961 we're leaving. And we arri...we're going on a Sabina Airlines. And we don't speak any, I, because in Poland I learn Latin, I don't know why. Latin, yes and Russian. I don't speak any English and I don't speak any French. We are on the plane going to, eh, with Sabina Airlines to, eh, to Brussels. The stewardesses are beautiful. They're bringing us trays of food. And all of a sudden I see my mother has an orange for a dessert and I have an orange for a dessert, whole orange for ourselves. I have never have seen a whole orange in my life, because we used to buy an orange and the whole family was getting pieces. And all of a sudden we have oranges! She's going to have one and I'm going to have one. We finish our food, we are so excited. We didn't even know how to start to--to peel the orange. That's another story that I told my grandson that he was fascinated with. And we're looking at each other and we're looking at each other and we're taking our time. And wh...what do you think happens? The stewardess comes in and she takes the tray, the, the trays away from us, because she thought we were finished. We never ate our oranges. My mother looked at me, I look at her. I started to cry. My mother [laughs] composed herself. I started to cry, she took my orange. I didn't know how to tell her, give me back my orange! I was, I was looking forward. You know, she thought I was finished. I was looking too long for--on the tray and, and there's only, you know, one hour and a half flight to Brussels from Warsaw. You know, she wanted to clean up. Of course, when I arrived in Brussels we had oranges and, and, and grapefruits and all kinds of fruit galore. But at that point I was heartbroken. So now we are arriving in, in Antwerp. And who greets us at the airport? Mr. and Mrs. Hirsch and two children. Two lovely children, two, two years old and a four-year-old. Why he's two year? I know that he's got long hair with a little ponytail and payes. And it's not the same Rabbi Hirsch. He's got a beard.

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