Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Reunited with Uncle

She was--he was hidden in Belgium?

Yeah, and she found my uncle. And he came to Germany to see us. Oh God...

What a reunion.

...what a day, what a day that was. Oh! It was such an exciting day. My, my uncle was a tall, very stately man, very educated, self-taught. And he was fluent in seven languages. Latin, Russian, English, German, Polish. Perfect Hebrew, I mean.

So what was the day like?

My mom--it was very exciting. My mom made oatmeal because that's what my uncle liked for breakfast, I remember that. And she spread a tiny little napkin on the table when he ate his breakfast. It was very, very interesting. It was a very exciting day to see my uncle. I saw him actually only twice in my life. Well, I saw him three times. I saw him in '38 when he came to Poland. He was born in Poland, but after World War I he moved to Germany. And he...

After World War II?

After World War I he moved to Germany.


Yes. He was, he was actually a prisoner of war after World War I, and he was a prisoner of war in Germany. And he liked it so much that he decided to stay there. And he became a clothes designer. So he lived all the years in Germany. He met a girl there and he was forty, she was only twenty-eight, I think or twenty-five when he met her. And they decided to get married. It was '38, 1938 and Polish--because he was a Polish Jew he was already not allowed to get married in Germany. And he came back to Poland to marry her. That was 1938. The only thing, I don't remember their faces. But the only thing I remember that I sat in his lap and I ate chicken soup with noodles. I loved chicken soup with noodles. That was my first encounter with my uncle. The next time I saw him in forty--it must have been '48 when he came to see us in Germany.

Did he still have his wife?

Yes. His wife survived on Aryan papers and he hid out in a cellar in Belgium.

What, was she Jewish?

Yes, she was Jewish. And they had two children, but they died during the war and they had a child after the war. She lives in England. It was a little girl. Jenny's her name. And he came by himself. Jenny was born in '48 actually, after the war. Um, he, my uncle came by himself to see us in Germany, in Ulm. It was a great day. It was very exciting time to see him. And the next time I saw him in '58, when I came traveling from the, Israel to the United States. Those are the three times I saw my uncle in my life.

Where did he live in the United States?

He didn't live in the United States, he lived in England, in London. And when I traveled from Israel to the United States, myself and my brother Harry, we stopped in England to see him.

Oh, I see, I see.

Yeah. That's how we happened to see him. We spent there two weeks with my aunt and uncle. Uh, my aunt died. She was 48. She had a massive heart attack. And my uncle died at 67 from leukemia. So we never had a chance again to see them. But um, but when he came to Ulm it was a great, great exciting time for us to see him. So Ulm was a very interesting time for me, um.

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