Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Monczyk-Laczkowska Ferber - December 7, 1999


Did it occur to you that you'd been kidnapped?

It's like, yeah. It's like kidnapping. She says, "We are going to be here for one month to six weeks until she goes back to Poland." Because she--right now my mother stayed in Belgium. She went into her friend. You know they gave her money and she went to her friend. And she was going to spend, you know, a few weeks over there and then go back to Poland. And, and some of the people, eh, from Belgium that befriended my mother that sp...spoke Polish, the Polish Jews, were in contact with, with her to make sure that they know when she's gonna go back to Poland. Why? Because I did not like Switzerland. Here, already, I was-- one trauma that I left Poland. Second trauma, that, that I was separating from my mother. If I was already separating with my--I wanted to stay in Antwerp. I already had friends. I met some friends. Here I was going to, to, to Geneva to, to another cult, because they were very religious people. I didn't know anybody. Oh, they started to give me material things because they thought that material things will make me happy. First of all, they rented a beautiful chateau. And I got the most beautiful room. We went to Montreaux, which in on a, on a French border uh, on, on the Lake Geneva. So from Geneva, we took a train to Montreaux. And there, he rented a Chateau close to, to synagogue. And I had the most beautiful, they gave me a huge room with the view on the lake. And as beautiful as the view was, that's how [laughs] hard I cried. I cried for my mother. I c...cried for myself. I cried for my confusion. I felt betrayed. I felt that they didn't trust me not to sit down with me to explain it to me what they were doing. I was very mad at them to the point that I got sick. I think I had nervous breakdown, but it was not that I was screaming and ??? I was fainting, I was sick. I was sick. But yet I loved, I loved the Jewish religion. I wasn't sure I, I loved the, the religion to the point of, of being so observant. Because the rebbitsen was so, so religious. She did not cook, she didn't clean. I helped her to take care of the children, I bathed them, I. Because she was always praying. She had a prayer for a beautiful scenery, for the sun and for the moon and for the, for the food. And when she cut her nails she had a brucha, when she put a beautiful dress on she had a brucha. She was praying and it was getting on my nerves.

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