Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Monczyk-Laczkowska Ferber - December 7, 1999

Polish Family Visits America Q:'77.

1977, Randy had a bar mitzvah and they came here. They were honored by Sheirit Haplai-ta and they had the plaque. My brother um, does not hang it on the main wall. He had it hidden a little bit. He says, "You have to understand...


I don't want to be persecuted. Not everybody feels about the Jews the way we do." And I resented it that he didn't have it in the, you know, in the place where I wanted, but now I understand. He has to live with these people every single day. He says, "I don't need no recognition." He never wanted to be brought to Yad Vashem. He never wanted to be interviewed.

He's been honored by Yad Vashem.


No, they haven't.

I have to do that.

Well, it would be his mother that would be.

And he. He was the one that pulled the buggy...

Pulled the buggy...

out of the, um.

You know Steffa's story at the end.


They went back at the very end...


to offer some food and she said don't come here again.

Yeah, right, right.

You must be divided about this. You must be terribly conflicted about the

Yes, but I understand. I am much more tolerant now than I was before. See my brother was, he, he's an engineer. But he worked in, eh, Nydishe ??? which is like um, like IRS. He was working for IRS, but he never belonged to communist party because he was cautious about it. Because I said to him, "If you ever want to come to America, you will never be able to visit me if you belong to communist party." He never did. And every year he had to fill out an application and it said, "Do you have anybody outside of Poland?" And he always said, "My sister who is in United States." And every time [laughs] he was shivering that they going to ask them who is she and how is she. And, you know and he would have told the truth. But he wasn't advertising it.

There's no question that you're his sister. He thinks of you as his sister and you think of him as your brother.

Oh absolutely, absolutely.

When you, when you became Jewish again, was there any tension between you and your mother over this?

No, because she never thought I was uh, Jewish. I mean, she knew I was Jewish but she didn't know I was Jewish. You don't understand, when I go there they don't think of me as a Jew. They think of me like I'm one of them. They send me Christmas cards. Some girlfriends that are more sensitive--I had four girlfriends from high school coming this summer to my house, my Polish girlfriends--they are more sensitive. They would send me a Chanukah card or, or, you know. They're more sens...my family will send me Christmas cards.

So when you flew off to Switzerland, basically leaving your mother behind, there was no. Well, you left.

In her head...

You don't know.

she did the right thing. In her heart, she didn't. In her heart, she was mixed. She had mixed feelings. I had mixed feelings. I thought I shouldn't have left her. I thought that she saved my life, I should have stayed with her. I never--do you know that when my mother died, Sidney, for two years I was dreaming about her every single day. And I was giving her transfusion. Do you know what it meant? At one point I went to a psychiatrist because I didn't know how to get rid of those dreams. That's how guilty I felt. I always was, was giving her transfusion, always. I felt guilty "til the day of--I'm still, I'm gonna feel guilty. I didn't give her enough time of, of my own. I didn't have spent enough time with her. The monument, nothing. You see, see--I go, every time I go to the cemetery now. Since my mother is dead, since my sister is dead, I go to that holiday on November 1 is the All Saints Day.

All Saints Day.

Yeah, where I go, hop cemeteries. And I go to the monument, I feel awkward because um, she saved money. She would not buy food and she was, you know.

Did you bring her here?

Few times.

Few times.


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