Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Monczyk-Laczkowska Ferber - December 7, 1999

Fate of Jewish Family

They came and got you...

myself. Yes. And, eh, once they left the ghetto they took off their Jewish stars and uh, they went out as Gentiles. And ever since that day, I stayed with them. About three weeks later, my mother came out of a ghetto. There was a curfew and she couldn't get out at any time she wanted to, but she'd take a time and she came and she um, she visited the Łączkowskas and uh, she held me for, you know, twenty minutes, whatever, half an hour and eh, she cuddled with me. And then she left. And it was very close to the curfew hour. So, Mrs. Łączkowska was a little bit concerned and she was hoping that my mother gets in time into the ghetto. And I--as I told you, we lived in a very beautiful old apartment building. And across of the apartment there was a beautiful park full of weeping willows trees. And as Mrs. Łączkowska watched through the window, she, she seen my mother walking through that park, because she had to go through that park in order to get where she wanted to go. And at one point, my mother jumped and she picked a leaf from the weeping willow. So Mrs. Łączkowska's interpretation was that she was in peace, that she felt like she left her child in the right place, that she did the right thing. And even though she didn't know whether she will come back or not, she was at peace with herself knowing that the child was left in the right place. Like she, she was not that close to, to Mrs. Łączkowska, she was only her neighbor. But now seeing the accommodations, which were actually very poor, but seeing the, the, the love and, and, the, the fact that, that Mrs. Łączkowska cared, she was a caring person, my mother was at peace. Of course, that was the interpretation of Mrs. Łączkowska. And uh, ever since then, she never came back. She was sent to Auschwitz with her, with her son, who could not be saved because he was five years old. And he was circumcised and he spoke. Um, and there was no one willing to take him. And she was sent to Auschwitz and uh, and she perished in Auschwitz. And my father supposedly was shot right in the Srodula ghetto. And ever since 1942--now, that was December when they, when, when the family, eh, the Gentile righteous people took me out of the ghetto. Uh, so I was seven months old. That's why the woman, the Gentile woman who became my mother and she was the only mother that I knew uh, counted backwards. If I was seven months old in December, she counted that maybe I was born in May or April. But we didn't know for sure. I did find my birth certificate and it's also very iffy. Uh, you know, the year is there, 1942, but it was not clear whether it was May or, or um, or April.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn