Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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




Just L-u-t.

Lut. Yeah.


That's the Lut airport and um, there was an Arabic city and the Israelis took it over. Lut, Ramallah, all these cities. And uh, we are assigned a dwelling in Lut. It belonged to Arabs, but there are no Arabs. They all run away.

The Arabs were, were driven out and...

Yes. Uh, they weren't driven out, they ran away. The ones that wanted to stay stayed behind. So there are still some Arabs there. But the ones that were afraid just took off and ran away.

Okay so it's, it's um, the war is over now.

The war is over now.

And what's the reaction?

And, of course, everybody is very happy and excited. But uh, needless to say, it's a terrible time. Uh, uh, it's, it's uh, austerity is it called, where you don't have anything?


[interruption in interview]

So it's austerity because of the war.

Of the war, you know. You, you, they give you rations now. There is nothing to be had, it's, it's very tough. A lot of people came in suddenly you know, new comers uh, refugees, um.

Was it starvation?

No, no, not starvation but uh, everything was rationed actually. Uh, it was ???, it's called in Israel. ???. And uh, it, it was a tough time. But um, they settled us down in Lut. We are the, between the first eight families to move to Lut. Uh, the city is, is absolutely empty. It's desolate. Um, the street are full of garbage and furniture and, and refuge. I mean, bedding. You've never seen anything like it. Uh, no water, no electricity. Uh, pitch dark at night. No, no stores, nothing. I mean, there were stores, but they were empty. And there's only eight families and we are between the eight families that arrived to Lut.

Had your brother joined you now?

Uh, no, he was still in the army. Um, but within a few weeks they give us a room. It's like a house, it's two rooms. It's uh, it has a big fence around. Arab homes are--all have fences so, God forbid anyone should see their--the women, you know. Uh, it has a big fence made from hollow bricks, you know. And at the end of the dwelling there is a little kitchen and a little um, bathroom. Just a hole you know, but it's closed in. And um, there two rooms, so one room is for my mom and my dad and one room is for me and my little brother. Luxury. Uh, now you have to clean it up. So we clean it up and uh, you have a gasoline uh, a gasoline lamp, you know. And uh, we see neighbors across the street that lived, moved in there, a couple with a child I think. And um, you go out in the streets and we started scavenging things you know, uh. Um, we pick up a bed and pick up, whatever is salvageable.

Was left behind.

Yeah, so, because we didn't have anything, you see. So we found a bureau and whatever was in fairly good condition. We put up a home. I mean we, we settled down.

You said there were Arabs that stayed?


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