Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Raft Trip

Down the Chulym.

The biggest river in Russia, I think in Siberia.

It's in Siberia.


I'll look it up.


We'll find it later.

And we got on that raft. My, my family, my aunt and her children. There was a young couple.

Your aunt had three children.

My aunt had four, but one died. We lost there--my aunt lost a son and we lost a uh, I lost a relative, sister.

Sister, the baby.

Yeah. My aunt lost there uh, some four years old.

So there are three children in your family.

And three in my aunt's.

Three in your aunt's family. Plus your aunt and your mother.

Yes. And there was a, a young couple and a father and a son. They joined us because, first of all, they didn't have any other transportation. And besides they figured, you know.

[interruption in interview]

We got on that raft with this young couple and a father and son. The father was an older man, he had a seventeen year old son. He couldn't be very old, but still old. He was a friend of my mom's and a friend of uh, of the whole family. And he just felt so terrible that where's he going to leave this two women and s...six kids going down the river all by themselves. So these four people joined us. And we left, actually we left before Rosh Hashanah.

So it's fall again.

Yes. It's fall again and we had to leave because pretty soon the river's going to freeze. That's where my mom walked once across when it was frozen.

Ah. And your intention was to get to...

To get to Asino...


...to meet my dad. Yeah. Because that's where my father came to, is Asino.

So he was released from prison.

Yes. And he came from Novosibirska...

Novasibirska to Asino.

...to Asino. Assuming that if we can get out, that's where we would come because that was the first stop. And uh, we got on that raft.

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