Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Monczyk-Laczkowska Ferber - December 7, 1999

Hidden Children Group

Tell me about your affiliation with the Hidden Children. Was it hard to join?

No, I think it was a wonderful place to be because we are able to talk about our lives and about our um, about destiny and about what could have happened, what, what's happening now. You know, like, we were not allowed to talk about it. The, the, the Holocaust survivors had the priority. We were like hidden all the time. So now it's, it's much easier. You know, the more I go to the gatherings, the more um, I don't, I don't really, I didn't befriend anybody from my group so much. Well, Erna I know for many years, because that's Freddy's friend. But I am close to couple of people from Toronto uh, also from Montreal and, eh,

People who were in Antwerp with you?

from New York. Pardon me?

People who were in Antwerp with you?

No, no, no, to people that I met at the Hidden Children.

The Hidden Children people.

You know, because we had few conferences. The original conference in '91 in New York was the most meaningful, because that was the first one.

You went to that.

Oh yeah, I went to all the major ones. And now in Prague, my God, the, the Polish Jews are, uh. Constantly I'm on e-mail with some of them and letters and telephones and. I'm keeping in, in touch.

Rene Lichtman came back from the '91 gathering and almost immediately wanted to form this group.


Did he--I think he put an ad in the Jewish News.

Mm hm.

And then they had at the Jewish Cen...Jewish Center. Were you one of the first to come into that?

Mm hm, mm hm. Yeah. I right away joined.

So it--was it coming out of hiding?

I guess so, in a way. You know, you see, what I resent about the, the group sometimes that there is a saying in Pola...Polish that you always look for sources outside and you don't understand your own sources. Like, even the, the woman from um, from Hol...what was she from Denmark? The one that, that we had a meeting, recent meeting in her house.

In her house. She's from Holland?

From Holland and Sweden. I mean, the first meeting she came to, to, to Rene's house, we spent like forty-five minutes--and I'm going to bring this up at the meeting--uh, just on her life. Talk about your own people because they mean the most. Helen or, or, or, or this Anne or me or--none of us ever, ever allow ourselves to speak for forty-five minutes about our lives. Why do you--or, or uh, Renee goes to Poland and interviews people in Poland, for whatever reason. I mean, interview your own. First of all, take care of your own backyard. Talk to your people. Talk to your people in your group. Nobody knows the--Stephan never talked for forty-five minutes. None.

He talked to me.

None of us

Not at the meeting.

Pardon me?

Not at the meeting.

I'm talking about the meeting. Every time there's somebody new coming they, they're fascinated with, with the story of the new person. Take care of your own group first because they need some time. I don't have the need to talk that much because I have my own resources, you know. But there's so many people I can see how they want to talk so much and they're being cut [claps hands] just like that.

Nobody listens. You said you came, nobody would listen when you wanted to, when you first got here. Did you want to tell the story and nobody would listen to it?


© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn