Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Monczyk-Laczkowska Ferber - December 7, 1999


Had you been to church regularly?


Before you didn't go to church.

So ever since then I was going to church. I was uh, I was doing what a good girl should do. I went to confession, I went to communion, I went to--you know I did all the things. So now I was, I was baptized. And I was adopted. She adopted me. I became Mirosława Łączkowska.

And everyone thought now that you were her granddaughter?


They didn't, they didn't believe that?

No, they thought I was her daughter. The only ones who believed that I was her granddaughter was the Germans.


But once the war was finished, I was Mirosłava Łączkowska, her daughter. So she had a daughter during her change of life, a lot of people do that.

Do you have any idea what, what her Polish neighbors thought about her harboring a Jewish child?

What was, I don't understand, what?

What her neighbors, the Polish...

Well, the neighbors didn't know. They only suspected. They never knew from, you know. She actually ruined her daughter's reputation. And she said that, that you know, I was illegitimate child. But they knew. They knew because they remembered my Jewish mother.


And uh, they knew that something was not uh, not kosher. So they um, they whispered about it. But you have to understand Sidney, that that was a taboo subject. It was a communist Poland and eh, we didn't talk about it. It was not popular and it was not in style to save a Jewish person because the Polacks, Polish people were extremely anti-Semitic. So--but I, I have to tell you that I was a very cute child and I was very good student. And I sang and I danced and then, well, later on I started to play guitar. And I recited the, the, the poems of Adam Mickiewicz, you know, which was a Polish poet. And, and I was very popular kid. So I had--I was always surrounded, I was very much like Sherry, like my daughter Sherry. So I was always surrounded with a lot of friends and I was a happy child going to communion every [laughs] months...


going to confession every months. And that was going on 'til the age, probably, fourteen, fifteen. Then I got smarter, I said, why do I have to go to confession, why? I don't have any sins. What do I have to confess and why do I have to, you know, go to church so much. The feeling was not there in my guts. I did not feel right.

Do you remember any of the prayers?

Absolutely, absolutely. But during the--there was one, eh, incident yet that I have to tell. My mother, my Polish mother was--I never, never realized how strong she was. During uh, in--also before, just before the war finished uh, I think it was before we were arress...arrested, I had scarlet fever. And my mother was very concerned that I'm going to suffocate, that I'm going to, you know, die of--she didn't, she didn't know what to do, so she went to, to doctors, to Polish doctors, but it was curfew. She couldn't go out on the street. But she took a chance and she went to few doctors, few Polish doctors because she wanted them to come and to give me the first aid. And none of them went to come because it was curfew and they kept saying, Mrs., Mrs. Łączkowska, we will come, but we'll come at eight o'clock in the morning. But she says my daughter cannot breathe. And she needs help right now. It's, was, like, two o'clock in the morning. So, at one point she heard there was a, a woman doctor somewhere. So she says, oh, I'm going to go because a woman maybe has more compassion.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn