Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Father's Release

So they took him out of isolation.

They took him out of isolation and put him with somebody else in, in a cell. So he already, he knew they're not going to kill him. Because he you know, he thought that they're going to kill him eventually. Um, but anyhow, so he was freed from that jail in Novosibirsk together with my uncle and they came to Asino. The reason they came to Asino because they knew that if we ever get out, that's where we'll wind up. If we get out of Siberia, this is where we would get out--reached. That's where, where we would come to is Asino.

Because lots of people were doing it?

Because that was the only way to get out. There was no other way.

So they were released from prison. And how did they get to Asino?

Uh, I think they were traveling by train. I--my, my uncle was very sick because my uncle was a smoker and he smoked um, uh, cotton and it hurt his lungs. He was very sick when they got out, so my dad was taking care of him. And they traveled with a, a train. Somehow they got there, I don't know that--those details. But when we got to Asino now, my aunt and my mom are going to the city to find my, my father--my uncle. And we are left behind. My, my sister, my brother and I and my cousins, we were all sitting there.

On the raft.

Not on the raft already. We unloaded the raft.

On the shore now.

On the shore under a, a big roof. You see the idea of, of the roof was so, it um, protects you from the snow, you see. It doesn't matter that the wind and the snow blows four sides of the roof. But as long as there is a roof. So we were sitting under that roof and my mom pulled out a blanket and, the featherbed, and she says, cover up and just sit here. So that's what we were doing. And my mom went and she looked and she found my father because I think she had this... My dad wrote her probably where he was or something to the effect, because she went to city and she kept on asking, do they know this tailor, a tall man, Pinhaus Chaimovitch Feldman. And until she finally found where he lived and the people told her that he had gone to the next little town to work.

So he wasn't--he hadn't settled in to doing his tailoring.

No, no, no. He, he was working with my uncle, my uncle was a, a builder.


And so he went to work with my uncle. He would make uh, he would build whatever they wanted him to build, you see.

What was the town? Do you remember?

No, I don't know where they went.

But he came back to Asino.

Oh yeah, they, they would go and work a few days and come back to Asino, because they were waiting for us to come. And um, my mom came back saying that uh, dad is, is, is alive, he's someplace but she couldn't find him. She left a message with these people that when he comes to tell them that his wife and children are on the shore waiting for him. I don't know how long it took for my dad to get to the shore, because I cannot tell you span--a span of time. I, I don't remember how much time it took. But uh, my sister was sitting and peeling potatoes and she made a little fire uh, and she was trying to cook something. And my mom was sitting with us and we were all bundled up. And suddenly my sister picked up her eyes and she looked and there was her daddy coming. And she screamed so loud. "Mother, daddy's coming!" Well, I'll tell you, we jumped up and we started screaming and we started running. My mom didn't move, she got up from her sitting position, she just stood like a, a statue. She couldn't move. It was the most wonderful night I ev...ever remember.

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