Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Journey to Israel

So they're taking my brother away and the decision is made that everybody is going to go to Israel now. Now we have a, a country. We're not going to sit in the DP camp, you see. Uh, so... We received a letter from him once he got to Israel and he was okay and he was already in the army and they were training him to be a soldier. Needless to say, we worried and it's now, it's, it's already November and we are getting ready--when--October. We're getting ready to go to Israel, packing up everything. And I have a sister and a brother-in-law and a nephew already. And he was born in February.

And a, and a little brother.


And a little brother.

And a little brother, my brother Ray. But I'm talking about my sister and brother-in-law and the nephew. Uh, his name is Harold and he was born in February and it's the end of October I think and we're packing up to go to Israel and my brother-in-law says, "You go to Israel now and we'll join you because it's very difficult to travel with a baby in the winter. So we'll stay here and we'll meet you in the spring in Israel." My father says he doesn't want to wait, we want to go to Israel, that's all it's to it. So we pack up and we go.

And you separated from your sister.

And we separated now from my sister. So now I have my brother in Israel, my brother Harry. My sister's staying in Germany. And me, my daddy, my mom and my brother Ray are going to Israel. We travel by train. We went to other camps before that. They transported us to other camps, where they gathered all the Jews that are going to Israel. I don't remember the names. There were other camps. We sing all kind of patriotic songs. Um we're, someplace else, I don't remember where. But anyhow, we're all together and we are traveling to Israel. Um, turns out the--this is the reason that I am in the United States, I have to tell you that. Turns out that we had affidavits to go to the United States because my mother had cousins here. Her father's sister's children lived here. Because my grandfather was here in the United States when my mom was a little girl. And his sister's husband lived here for fourteen years in the United States and he took all his children to the United States. So she had cousins here. And she got in touch, she remembered the address, she had the address, I don't know how. But she found them. And they sent us affidavits to come to the United States. But it did not include my sister. So my parents decided that we'll all go to Israel. We can't break up the family. So we're going to Israel because of my sister. Well, when we left, turns out that my brother-in-law had an affidavit from his side of the family, never telling us that.

To go to America.

To the United States.

Why didn't he tell anybody?

Who knows? So now...

So they didn't come to Israel. They came here.

No. Uh-huh. So now, he is working on taking his family to the United States, we assuming that he's going to come to Israel because that's where we're going because he cannot come to the United States. We had affidavits, our lives would have been probably so much different. But you know, what--this is how fate had it. So we are traveling--actually we were coming back from, they were taking us into this camp where they organized all the Jews to go to Israel. And in, in order to go to Israel we had to go first to France, you see. I traveled a bit.

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