Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Trip to Asino

Was there food on the raft? Did they take food?

Uh, my mom cooked. We had a tiny little stove. And we got on that raft, it was evening. It must have been about ten thirty at night. We were waiting for the moon to come out 'cause we were not supposed to take off. We actually ran away.

So you didn't tell anybody you were going.

No, no, no. We loaded up our belongings. And I can see now the trees were very tall and you had to walk down--it was very slippery uh, the ground already, you know, it was cold already. We got on that raft and we took off and we traveled on that raft for two weeks until we got to Asino. We encountered some trouble on the way. Uh, we got stuck once.


Well, we traveled--it was like late afternoon and we got um, the kids weren't listening to my mom--she was the captain--and she said, "Don't go with the red buoy, it's dangerous," but they didn't listen. So we wound up uh, in a water that was literally boiling, you know. And our raft was going around and around in circles. We thought it's going to tear us apart, but I guess God looked out for us because there was a um, tree.


A stump of a tree.


And it got caught in the bottom of our raft and that stopped us.

Otherwise you would have capsized?

Yeah. It would have torn us apart. And we stayed there during the night. In the morning we had to unload everything, carry everything down and pull...

How far were you from Asino at this point?

We were far still, it was, yeah. Uh, we were very far because it was like maybe a few days into the trip and then we decided that we'll not travel into the evening. That as soon as it gets a little dark.

Had you traveled at night up to that point?

It, it was not night but it was like...


...evening already, you know. And my mom said, "No more. As soon, after a certain hour when it, we can't see exactly where we're going, we're going to hook up."

And when you stopped, you went to shore.

We went to shore, yes.

And slept on the ground?

You mean, when? When we got stuck?

When, when you pulled, in the evening when you stopped the boat.

No, no, we slept on...

Slept on the raft.

On the raft. We hooked up and we stayed on the raft. And my mom cooked. You know, she bought fish, she made gefilte fish for Rosh Hashanah.

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