Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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


When, when you um, eat a potato, do you ever think of that?

Um, no. Uh, when we eat bread, I will say to my brother, "Mmm, that bread is good." And we will talk about how we miss bread. Um, you know, when you take frozen potatoes, you can't do much with it. Except you grated it and you made potato latkes--potato pancakes. And that we could eat and it was good. And it, it was very good. Uh, no um. I tell you, when I eat gefilte fish is when it brings a lot of memories to my, to me because I remember how we ate gefilte fish on, on the raft. That is something that brings memories. Uh, and bread. Bread, my brother would say, "Oh God, one more time in my life I want to be able to sit at the table, have a whole bread in front of me." It--bread is a very important part of the human life, you see, of his diet, and when you don't have it--you can live without meat, you can live without cheese, but a piece of bread. Uh, when I did have a piece of bread, that's very little, I happen to like herring and uh, I would take a little piece of bread and cut it in half and I would take, and I would take a bite of my part and I say, "Mmm, this is such good herring," and then I take a bite of the other piece of bread.

You would pretend that it was herring.

Yes. It was good, you know, it tasted like herring, it tasted like herring. But I was lucky because, you know, I was little and people were nice to me. There was a family from Poland that they were you know, arrested and sent to Siberia and they would get a lot of packages. I would go to their house. I would sing to them and dance for them. I would sing them in Polish, you know--a Polish song. And uh, they would give me food. And there was a family, a father and a mother and a son uh, Polish people, not Jews--and he would, he went and he caught a duck one time. Now this I don't forget, you see. He caught this duck and his wife made a soup out of it. And they invited me over and they put me on top of their big um, [pause] um, chest. They had a, a, a woven chest from st...from uh, straw, you know what...


A chest that you pack things in.


They put me on top of this chest and they gave me a bowl of soup, duck soup. And inside was the wing of that duck. And I tell you, this was so wonderful. Do you know duck is my favorite food until today. I love duck, roasted duck, it's so good. I make it, I eat it out, I love it. Um, I'll never forget that duck, it was so delicious. And it was so generous of these people. They had very little too. But they felt kinda you know, some little kid running around, um.

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