Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Younger Sister

Were you crying?

I don't know. I don't remember, maybe I was--I don't really remember whether I was crying. It was a most uh, painful morning, 'cause you know, my mom was just laying there and not moving. Um, my daddy wasn't working then because you know, there, there was no work. And uh, he tried to, to take care of his kids. We were, there was four of us at the time.

Including the baby.

Including the baby.

What was the baby's name?

Chaia. Interesting enough that we do not have that name in the family at all. Everybody that was named with that name died or was killed during the war. So we do not have that name.

It means life.


It means life, no?

Yeah. Chaia means life and woman. Chaim is you know, for men, Chaia is for women. Um, so, the next thing I remember really vividly in Siberia was that we actually moved to another room. But I cannot tell you whether this was before or after they arrested my daddy. I do not remember that, but it had to be after.

They arrested him again.

No, they arrested him only one time.

But now you're in Siberia.

Now we are in Siberia, and they arrested him. Uh, you see, I think that we were in that room when they arrested him. It was a few weeks later and there was no work. They did not give any work to the people that they brought into Siberia. They gave us a little bread, a little soup, but there was nothing to eat. It was very cold. And so the men decided to go and demand work--I told you about that. And um, they didn't like the idea. So they gathered all the men--in Russian it's called sobranie which means a gathering and uh, they started talking to the men. Uh, by then I think my mom was feeling better because I think she was walking on crutches. So they, they called the meeting for like maybe the late afternoon. And now it's already maybe seven o'clock in the evening and, maybe later. And they're not back. And my mother started worrying. It was my, my daddy and my uncle, my dad's brother. And so we don't know what's happening there. My mom said to her sister-in-law, she says, "You know what? Let's go and see what's happening." So my mom got on her crutches and my aunt and they both walked over to the um, head office of this particular place that we lived in.

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