Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Feldman Icikson - October 23 & 29, November 5 & 12, 2001

Reunited with Uncle


It's a place where you buy a cold drink. And I go in there to buy a cold--a dr...a cold drink because it's hot and. And there's a man, and he's, and the guy that sells the kiosk you know, knows me very well, and he says to me in Hebrew, he says, "Esther, this man is looking for somebody in Lut, maybe you can help him, you know a lot of people." And I said to him, I says, "Who are you looking for?" And he says, "I just came from Russia with my family and I know--I hope I can find these people but I heard that in Lut, I had a aunt." And I says, "And who is your aunt?" And he says, maybe you knew, maybe you know Pinhaus ??? Feldman. He's a tall man and he's a tailor." He was looking for my parents.

Your parents.

He, his mother and my mom were sisters.


Well, I tell you it was a very interesting encounter. And I looked at him. He was the one--my mom's sister had eight children. And he was the oldest. And my mom remembered him mostly because he kinda grew up in her house. When she was a young girl he would come to the village, to the farm where she was living, as a kid, you know. So she remembered him and she was very close, she would always talk about him. So I knew his name and I remembered. And I looked at him and I said to him, "Are you Elie?" And he almost passed out. He says, "How do you know my name?" I says, "Guess what, I'm your cousin!" It was a most unusual encounter. And, so when we were getting ready to leave uh, we gave him all our belongings. We sell, sold our apartment. And we went. April the 1st. Our friends made us parties. Oh, you should see my pictures, what beautiful parties they made us. Everybody celebrated to say goodbye to us and we got on the El Al airplane because my brother worked for many years for the El Al so he was entitled to two tickets, he got free of charge and we flew to England. We stopped in England to see my aunt and uncle. Rudolph Reif was his name and Kathy was hers. They had one daughter, Jenny. She lives in England still. And we came to New York. My mom's cousins lived there, they're still alive. Old people, very old people. And we stayed there a few days. We went to the museum. I'll never forget that. You know what mostly impressed me when I got off the plane--I came into New York, Brooklyn to be exact, that's where they lived--is the fact that little girls, eleven--twelve years old, wore lipstick. I've never seen that before. In Israel you don't do that. I couldn't believe. Why would little girls like this put on lipstick on their lips? Couldn't get over it. It was so different, absolutely so different. So--and we stayed a little bit in New York, maybe a week. And then we came by train to Detroit. Must have been the end of April already, almost the third week in April.

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