Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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


Where in France?

Uh, Marseilles.

Marseilles, yeah.

Yeah. So we, we had to travel through Ulm again. My sister comes to the station to see us. She knew that. And she tells us this. She says to my father, "Get off the train because we, you can go to the United States because I have an affidavit to go there too." And my dad says, "No. I'm going to Israel." So we are traveling to Marseilles now. And that's where we came, to Marseilles. We're there in a DP camp again. And my sister is left in Ulm. And it's just me, my brother Ray and my mom and my dad in Marseilles with a lot of other Jews in a big DP camp.

An American-run DP camp.

Yes, yes. HIAS or UNRRA.


UNRRA. Yeah, one of these. And uh, and the Haganah, the, the leaders of Israel were there. They were the ones who took care of--now we, we have a country already. By the way, they're already fighting in Israel. It's already a war and they're already really fighting. Uh, the nicest thing I remember about Marseilles was the smell of tangerines. Isn't that amazing? Uh, I've never had a tangerine in my life before and when you peel a tangerine it has a most delicate, delicious smell. And that's, when--this season you know, the time of this year, that's when they grow, that's when you harvest tangerines, this is, this is when we arrived to Marseilles.


Now, yes. And uh, my dad bought some tangerines and I peeled one. Oh that smell was so wonderful. This is what I remember about Marseilles.

Not bouillabaisse?

Not bouillabaisse.

Okay. And when you eat a tangerine are you back at Marseilles?

I love the tangerines. It's my favorite food, just to think about it. I'm back in Marseilles? Uh, yes and no. I don't remember much about Marseilles. I don't think we were long there. I don't remember nothing about it. I remember I was standing next to a, a fence uh, by a fence. It wasn't exciting. I don't know what we were doing there. I was already a big girl, but I don't remember anything pleasant except the tangerine. Isn't that amazing when I think about it. I had a way of blocking out things that I didn't want to remember, I guess. It wasn't exciting. But what I remember is when we boarded the ship. The name was Galila. Galila, the name of the...

Can you spell it?

I don't know.



G-a-l--is it, is it a Hebrew word?

It's a Hebrew word.


Yes. And um...

What does it mean?

Galila is, comes from wave. It comes from gal, which is a wave.

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