Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Letter to Stalin

Except write a letter to Stalin.

Well, that's only once in a lifetime. So you keep your mouth shut and you don't say nothing and you pray that one day you can get out of it. And so because my dad was working and he taught these girls how to be tailors or, or seamstresses or whatever, and, and they produced well. They used to sing a song about my dad because he wanted the work to be perfect. So he would correct them. So they made, made up a song about him, singing about him. That he says that uh, "You again made a mistake, you have cabbage in your head." That, that's the song they, they would sing. But they adored my dad. Uh, my dad was a very lovable person, very kind. And for awhile there we had uh, good times. Um, they liked my dad, they would bring us--you see, people that, natives of that area, they weren't poor like we were. They had a little land to work and plant on. Uh, they had chickens, they had cows, they, they had uh, uh, whatever you know, pigs. So they had food. They would harvest their, their vegetables. They would have cabbage and they would, sour cabbage for the winter and pickles and--so they would bring us all kind of good things you know, they would bring for my daddy because they were impressed how he would teach them. And so they would bring us stuff. So we had, for awhile there it was a little better for us. We, we had food to eat already. That was already in 1941 uh, '44, the beginning of '44 was a little better already. We had food, my dad worked.

So you weren't starving anymore.

No. In '44 it was much better, we weren't starving.

In '44 you were uh, nine years old?

Kind of, yes, yeah.

And going to school.

And I'm going to school. And I have friends. And we move again to a bigger room.

Another, a single room, but...

Al...always a one room.

It was a single room.

And uh, and, and that room it was, was a nicer room, it was a bigger room. We had a um, a stove to cook on, an oven to heat it in the winter. And uh, we slept on the floor, there was only one bed and a little crib for my brother at that time. Uh, I always picked up the little crumbs from the bread that he would eat.

You know um, in Chelm you were in one room, the whole family in one room.


© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn