Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Monczyk-Laczkowska Ferber - December 7, 1999

Relatives in America


Well, I kiss them and I hug them, but, you know, in my stomach I am, I'm kissing a strange man who really forgot about my existence for nineteen years. How do you deal with it? Uncles that could have helped me so much. I wouldn't have to deal with the orphanage in 1946 or seven when I was there. And through our life poor and, and, and hungry and, you know. But I don't feel any special love for them. I feel respect. And I'm also excited because the brothers of my father, you know.

You didn't say anything, that they...

Nah. I never said. I don't know whether you were ever at one meeting...

I was there.

at the Hidden German, the whole group said to me, you know, jumping at me, says, "Tell him, tell him, tell him how you felt--feel!" I never did, because why should you?

He was dying, right?

He was, yeah, he just died two, two weeks ago. Eighty some year old man, I'm going to tell him how I feel? Is it going to relieve me? I mean, you know. So um, now I was very religious, I was kosher. It's a big problem because one uncle is not religious. The unc...the other uncle's religious, I have to go with the uncle who's religious.

Which is which one?

So I go...

Which uncle?

Jack, Yaakov, who died fourteen years ago. But Srulik Israel was the one who was close to my father. And I always liked Srulik better because Srulik was--I felt better with him. The other one was forced into the religion. The wife became religious for all the wrong reasons and he was forced into the religion. So he was not a true uh, believer in what he did. I mean, his children are yeshiva buchers and they are wonderful, you know. I keep in touch with them and, and, and he had a lot of nachas from them--which my uncle Srulik didn't, because he had a hard life. His first wife died, second wife die...died, you know. He had a hard life and his children did not come out the way. Then I had an aunt in Detroit here.

From your father's side as well?

From my father's side who I really resented the most because I felt that she was the woman. She should have fetched me earlier and she should have done this and that and that. But then I said to myself, Miriam, you're demanding too much. And after going to the Hidden Children meetings and listening how some of them bitch, literally bitch for the fact that uncle came to get me after the war, mother come here, where they should have left me there, you know. So there's no, you don't know which way is the right way. Maybe my destiny was such to stay there for nineteen years. But I would have wished for her, she was such a macher here in Detroit, she could have gone, knock on the door. If she couldn't afford it and say, do you have couple of dresses, do you have couple of pair of shoes, maybe this. Gather a package, send it to, to her niece in Poland, you understand. That's what, what she could have done. And that would have helped me a lot.

The three of them had no contact with you for nineteen years.



And she didn't even come to New York to greet me, you know, at the airport. She took her sweet time. I was already, like, four weeks in, in, eh, in New York. And then she took a train and she came. She was a little on a, you know, it's not nice to say.


But she's dead.

She lived here in Detroit.

Yeah, she lives here. Everybody knows her. I was not very proud of her. She was, she was making a lot of problems for, you know. She was. Anyway, no nachas from her children either so, you know.

So now you're in New York.

So now I'm in New York.

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