Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Monczyk-Laczkowska Ferber - December 7, 1999

New York

Is Stern's--is it Sterns' house?

And these people that greeted me uh, were wonderful people, especially one, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson. She was so beautiful, Mrs. Nelson. He was a cantor and she was a beautiful girl and uh, young, you know. Now, yes, now I'm going to, to, well first to Beis Yakov. Of course they send me for um, for couple of weeks to, to see where I am at and, you know, to take all the exams. Now I am, I'm going to Stern College. So I take subways, I, I live with my religious uncle, which they gave me the--my own room. And the three boys that he had slept in the living room. This is January. In March uh, in the beginning of March, my aunt comes. In the mid...eh, middle of March my aunt comes from Detroit to, to, to meet me for the first time. And then she, she takes me back to, to Detroit. We go by train. To Detroit we come, riding the train and I stay with her. And I have a terrible problem because she's not kosher. I have--I, I'm very kosher. But I, I manage somehow. So what does she do? She brings me to B'nai Brith affair. There's 200 greeners and I come in and little did I know how they felt about Polacks. [laughs] I take a guitar.


Ari Grosinoff, I don't know whether you remember?


Ari Grosinoff and his orchestra introduces me, Miriam Monczyk from Poland, is going to sing. That's why Steffa came up to me yesterday and says, "Why don't you take your guitar and, and sing Meidela Yingele," because that was my song in Polish.

He's still, did you sing that last night?

I didn't sing it, bit.

Didn't the pianist?


What was the song that was a Russian song.

Yeah. So, I sang, you know on the stage with a guitar. And I guess Fred was there. Fred was there with his date. And he took, he took the date home [laughs] very fast. The next morning he called me on a date. And uh, you know. I was here for a week. So we dated every single day actually. And, eh, it was an instant, eh, chemistry. [laughs] You know, I felt he, you know, he was very compassionate. We had a lot of things in common. We were, um. Uh, we had similar backgrounds. The only thing, he was not religious and I was. It was a big problem. We--I didn't know what to do. I, I, you know, I was so religious. I already begin to, to think that I met the Conservative Jews and the Reform and the Orthodox and I said, said to myself, you know what? I don't have to be that Orthodox. I can, you know, find my way.

So you were contemporary...

But I, I went back to New York. And we were talking on the phone everyday and he came to New York. Of course, he came on Shabbat. My religious uncle and, and...It was a disaster. And, eh, the rabbis loved me also in New York. And the religious people, they were inviting me to Far Rockaway to Lawrence, different Shabboses I would go. And I, I met a lot of wonderful people. Moishe Katz and other people befriended me and, uh. I didn't spend too much time on Shabbos with, with my uncles. "Cause I went mostly to the people in, in, uh, Lawrence and Far Rockaway.

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