Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Thoughts on Taping Stories

Do you think that stories like this should be put on tape the way we're doing now, and why do you think so?

Um, the only reason I think it should be put is, on tape is because, like, you see, I'm getting older and my grandchildren--right now I don't think they're old enough to listen to my stories the way my daughter was, because they're my grandchildren. It's a different mentality, it's a different time. And maybe I cannot present it to them like I did, the way I did it for my children. I would have my daughter sit in the bathtub and I would start telling her the story because something might come up. Maybe you know, maybe it was suddenly a thunder or something and I'd come up with a story that what happened in such and such a time. It was more... It's different with my grandchildren and I think it's very important for them to listen to it and hear what happened. Although just the other day Zachary was uh, expressing an interest in, in stories, what happened to me and, uh. He actually said that he was so glad he had a chance to meet Bobe Bronchele, which was my mom and his great-grandma.

His great-grandma.

His great-grandma, sure. He, he did meet her. And interesting enough, he still remembers her. So uh, from that viewpoint and that reason it's very important to record it so the grandchildren--and maybe someday, God willing, when they have kids, maybe they will say, "Would you like to hear the story of my grandma?" You know.

Is there anything else you want to add to this?

Uh, no, just that I think I'm very lucky to have come such a long way and to be here.

It's a long way from one room.

It's a long way from one room, it's a long way from a tent, it's a, a very long way from Siberia. Uh, actually I would love to go back to Central Asia to see. Siberia I don't think is feasible. But Central Asia I wouldn't mind to go back to see that city. And interesting enough, I was in New York and I went to see my cousins. Actually they're not my cousins. He was married to my mom's first cousin and his wife got killed with her children during the war and he remarried in Russia. But we consider that family because he does not have anyone uh. He had three children and they were all slaughtered. And now he's a very old man and very lonely. And so when I am in New York, if I have a chance I go to say hello to him. And I come in and there is a man, a Russian man that takes care of him. And I say, I come and I say, "Hello," and I say to him in Russian, ??? and I start talking to him in Russian and he's very receptive. And uh, uh, he says, "How do, how come you speak Russian." And I tell him, "Oh I was in Siberia, I was in Central Asia." He says, "Oh Central Asia, where were you?" I says, "Oh I was in Belovodsk ???" and he says "Oh my God," in Russia, he says, "My brother lives there." So it's interesting, the city is still there. It's the one place I kinda would have loved to go back and take a look. But, who knows, maybe I'll do that someday.

Take your children.

My children?

Take them with you.

Uh, nah.


It's not ju...it's not such an exciting place. I took 'em where I thought I would want them to go with me. We went to Israel, I showed them where I lived. Uh, my son went to Poland on, on his own. I wouldn't want to take my kids back to Poland with me to show 'em the horrible places. My memories from Poland are not pleasant, not nice. I don't want to go there, I must admit. I was born there, I wouldn't want to go there, no. So on a whole, I think I'm very lucky, I have a wonderful family and I live in a wonderful country and I hope we have peace again like we had before September 11.

That's a good place to stop.


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