Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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


Um, tell me about the trip, when you left. Do you know more precisely when it was you left? It was you think in November.

I think it was the end of October, beginning of November, because it was very cold. Um, we...

[interruption in interview]

I asked--we were talking about when you left. I think in October there were, um...

October, November, I'm not sure.

Because there were--the Germans drove out about 1,800 Jews in October.

Okay, that was the first march.


I don't remember whether we were still in, in, in the city. We might have been still and my dad wasn't there. I cannot tell you. You know, there, the--I can't remember a lot uh, of these details because I was a kid...


...a little girl. But what I do remember is that my dad came back. It was very cold that night, it had to be probably uh, the beginning of... Maybe it was the end of October. Yeah, the first march was uh, I don't think my dad was home. Maybe, maybe it was before that. I cannot remember. I don't know that. I don't know that detail. But I know that my father came and he picked us up and we went to White Russia. I think we were, it was a very small place. Uh, try to remember the name, I, I don't remember the name. Uh, we, we couldn't find a place to live. Uh, I think we were--first we were at this uncle's house. It was my mom's uncle. So that would have made this my great uncle. His name was Yos...Yosel. And this man lived in the United States for fourteen years. And then he went back...

He went back.

...to Poland for Hitler to kill him. Uh, we stayed there and we used to say we couldn't stay very long, we were five people in the family. And things were very bad. We wound up in a little synagogue uh, where people gathered there, you know.

This is not, not in the Ukraine.

It was the Ukraine.


White Russia. Yeah.

If I showed you the map would you be able to...


No, okay

I don't remember. It was...

Well, tell me this. As a four year old child, do you remember what you, what you felt, what you experienced? Were you frightened, were you...

Uh, frightened...


...yes. Hungry. Um, we went from there, we went to another city. We--I don't remember exactly--we went, we went to a city uh, the name of that city--oh God. Uh, later on I remember the cities, but in the beginning... It was in White Russia and we were there with my grandma, my daddy's mother, she went along with us. It was '39. My mom had a new baby, because she was pregnant at the time...


...when we were traveling and she had a baby. Little girl, her name was Chaia. And we stayed there for awhile. And uh, it wasn't so bad there. My daddy was working and I went to a kindergarten or a nursery school, I'm not sure. I was already learning Russian songs.

So you had crossed the Bug River, which was the dividing line probably.

That Bug River.

That was between German Poland and Russian--and Soviet Poland.

Yes, we had to already, we, we already crossed it because when we wanted to go back, that's when the Russians arrested us. Yes, we had to cross the Bug. We crossed the Bug right away actually, because that family that we went to, they lived on the other side of the Bug, I think. And this place was a, a nice little town and we--my brother went to school, I went to this nursery school or kindergarten maybe. And they taught us songs. And they had a big celebration. Wait a minute. When is uh, November, when is the, the Russian...

October. November...


November in the Russian calendar.

November the--what is their independent...November the first--the third?

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