Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Leaving Russia


Uh, a few months after we left Russia. It was a very tough thing to do because there was no transportation. And we packed up and in order to get on a train you had to bribe the conductors. And so I remember sugar was a very great commodity. I mean, sugar was like gold. So my father bought sugar and some other things, I don't remember what and we tried to bribe the conductors. You can't--couldn't get on a train. And finally we wound up on the connecting part of the cars. This was a, uh...

Connecting part of the cars?

Yes. You know how, you know how...

Between the cars.

Between the cars. Uh, so we all wound up in different parts of the train actually. It was a disaster. My mom had a baby. I was a little girl still, you know. My brother and--we finally, we got on the train, but we were not together.


And so once we were on these connecting parts we went through the doors. And we came into a car where there were soldiers going from one place to another. It was, after the war the soldiers had--were moving you know, from one place to the other. Maybe they were stationed someplace in, in Kyrgyzstan and they were going back. 'Cause we were heading towards Kharkov, because my aunt and uncle were in Kharkov. My, my uncle was a builder and he was, he built a ??? in, in...

Can you tell me what that is?

Okay, that is a um, factory that makes sugar. In, in Kyrgyzstan they grow sugar beets. Big beets, they grow in the fields and you make sugar out of them. These are sugar beets. Actually my dad used to steal them during the night in '43. That's another story, I should tell you how you steal them, it's special.

And you will, I hope.


And you will, I hope.

Yeah. Um, so he had built this, this factory to make sugar in Belovodsk and they were so impressed that they transported them to Kharkov to build another ??? to make another building like this, to build another building. And so he had left. We were all together all the time until that time where they transported them to Kharkov. And we were on the way first to Kharkov to see my aunt and uncle and from there we were, we would be continuing to Poland, going home where we were born.

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