Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Leaving Poland

So you had no trouble at the border.

No, we crossed the border. I was carrying a little handbag and inside were cigarettes to bribe.

Who was taking you? Who was guiding you?

Uh, uh, there was--there were people that were guiding us.

More than one.

Yes, there was a whole, there was a whole train of people traveling. Jews from Chelm going towards...

It was the Haganah.

It had to be the Haganah probably, uh. Um, we were in Czechoslovakia. I don't remember how long. We traveled from one place to another. You know um, I came to Czechoslovakia and I had boils because, from malnutrition from all the years, I had boils. And from walking I was very sore. And my daddy--we came to a camp, it was so filthy my dad took off his bag, his, his coat and he spread it on a, on a bed. Supposedly there were bed bugs there. And he laid me down there to sleep a little bit because we walked you know, we traveled and then we walked, it was very tiring. I was a kid still.

This camp, was...

It was a camp where all...

All Jews.

All Jews came there and went through it, yeah.

And did you have any idea where you were going. I mean, you--I knew you were going to Palestine, but did you know where...

We, we had to go the long way because you couldn't go into Palestine at the time, it was '47 now.

So the British blocked.

Yeah, and the British were still in Israel. So you couldn't go. Uh, we, we had to wait for it. But we, we needed to go. At one point we thought maybe we go illegally, but you know, it was, it was a long haul still to get to Israel. So we went, we went through Czechoslovakia. And then I think we went through Austria too, I'm not sure.

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