Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Becoming Ill

To the doctor.

To the doctor. And the doctor gave me a shot in my stomach. I don't know why he gave me a shot in my stomach and he said that I had scarlet fever and that I should be taken away from all the other children. So my dad went and he found a room in a hotel. Of course, the hotel was not used anymore. And it was a big room. And there was like a, a buffet, a big buffet. And he tipped it over and my mom--and I had my little brother Ray, so you know, the danger was not to...

Not to infect.

...expose another, infect him. So.

Wasn't there a hospital?

I don't remember.

No? Okay.

Um, they tipped over that big buffet, they put some blankets on it and they bedded me down. And do you know that I do not remember for awhile what happened to me. I was very sick. I had terrible dreams, I was screaming terribly. I remember that I, I remember that I was screaming.

In the dream.

In the dream, yeah.

What else do you remember about the dream?

Uh, not much. I remember I would scream because it seemed like somebody wanted, like lions wanted to tear me up. That, that I think was my dream. I was very afraid in my dreams. And...

Tell me more about the lions.

There was nothing. I would scream so loud that somebody would always wake me up.

So you were screaming out loud in your dreams?

Oh yeah, very loud. I remember that, you know. And I don't remember how long I was there. I don't know whether I was with my dad or my mother, I don't remember who was with me, because somebody had to be with me there.


I don't remember eating or drinking. I really don't remember. I was very sick. So the decision was made. My aunt and uncle continued on their way.

Way to?

They went to Italy.


I don't know where they went to Italy. But we stayed in Chelm because they couldn't travel.

[interruption in interview]

So you're ill.

So I'm sick and, uh...

And you're having nightmares.

And I have nightmares, terrible nightmares. I must have had a high fever or something, I don't know. And um, my parents decided they couldn't go anyplace, so we stayed. And we were there actually for nine months. I got better after--I think I was sick maybe for two, three months until I recuperated. And my dad found um, first he was working with, he, he bumped into a friend from before the war. The man came back from I don't know where. And he worked with him. And then he, he put up his sewing machine in his room and he advertised and he got work from non-Jews and he started working in his hou...in the room. It was a very large room where we lived. It--at one time it was a hotel. And in Europe you know, they build the building a square. In the middle it's like a, a yard.

Like a...

Like a...

Uh, yeah, I--lots in Italy.

Right, it's, it's a square building. But the middle is, is empty. It, it's like in the middle you, you, you have like a yard. And you can...

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