Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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


So the Jewish, Jewish communities would...


...let you come in.

Yeah, you, you co...you, the first thing you did is you went those shtiebl, to the little shul to the Jewish community to find, are there Jews uh, can they help you, can you stay with them. So the first thing you knew, you wound up in a shul. And you weren't alone. Uh, there were lots of other people and you, in the same position. Uh, 'cause I remember at the last uh, shtiebl that we were, where we were arrested, there was a lot of people there. We all slept on the floor. Matter of fact I just talked to my sister and I, I remember certain things--actually, just she's the oldest--much better, certain things I remember much better, you know, certain things that were kind of very um, strong, very, very uh, uh, different. And I was a little girl, so I think it really affected me. And I remember that little shul because everybody was sleeping on the floor and you couldn't move. I mean you know, if you wanted to, to go across the room you had to all jump over bodies, I mean, that's, that's how it was.

You said your grandfather had walked you--you were in a horse and wagon...


...and your grandfather had walked you, where, to the Bug river and then...


...he had gone back.

He'd walked back. Not to the Bug. He walked us to the, like, to the edge of the city.


Yeah, to the edge of the city of Chelm, you know. And then he walked back.

Now you're in a shtiebl, and tell me the circumstances, what you remember of the circumstances of the arrest.

Well, what I remember is that a tremendous loud knock on the door. And the noise was deafening. Maybe because I was a little girl and it's in the middle of the night, it was the middle of the night, maybe two in the morning. And all they kept on saying is ??? take your belongings. And um, I think they loaded us on trucks and drove us to the train station.

These were soldiers?

Soldiers with uh, rifles. Uh, very loud. They, they kept on hollering and screaming at us, so. Uh, you picked up your clothes and you got dressed um, you grabbed whatever you had and uh, you went.

Were they violent? Did they beat anyone?

No, no I don't remember that. I don't think they were beating us up or anything. They were just very loud.

I, I know this sounds silly--how did you feel? Do you remember?

I don't, I don't remember feeling anything. I can't remember a feeling. What I--the next thing I knew I was looking out a tiny little window on a train. That's all I remember, um.

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