Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Life in Israel (continued)

And you, and you visited her?

Oh yes. Um, my son-in-law was just now in Salt Lake City, Utah and uh, he was saying to my daughter how--what a beautiful place it is. And I says, "I saw, I saw Lake City, Utah." And my daughter says, "When were you there?" And I says, "I was there when Nechama was sick and I went to take care of her." They traveled through the United States and my friend got sick. She uh, she had an attack of her gall bladder. She was desperately sick and she wound up in Utah, in Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City.

And she wound up in Mormon hospital, but they didn't speak very well English and I flew out to help out. And so I was there. You know, she had to have surgery--emergency surgery and so I flew out there. So that's how I wound up there. And my daughter said, "Oh, now I remember."

So you've been around the United States a little bit too.

Yeah, I traveled a little bit. But um, I am going now, we are in Israel and I'm going to school and I meet children my own age. But the problem is, you see, I, I went to school in the, in Germany for two years. But according to my age I should be in a higher grade. I'm good in math so they jumped me to the fifth grade. And so it's a little tough. But it's becoming more of a normal life. I get up in the morning, I go to school, my brother is home already and he's looking for a job. And our neighbors are involved, he is involved with the party, with Mapai, this is, uh...


And he finds him a job in El Al. He finds my brother a job in El Al, which is wonderful. So my brother is already working and I'm in school. And my little brother is in school, my brother Ray is in school. And my daddy's working as a builder. And he tried to open a little store but it doesn't work out. He just couldn't make it. And so there is a need suddenly for clothes actually. And this man is buying up old clothes, old coat, old jackets. And my dad meets the man and he says, you know what, "I can make him stylish and new." And he says, "How?" He says, "You just give me an old jacket and you'll see what I'll do with it." So my dad takes it apart and turns it inside out, so it becomes new, you see, and so...


Yes. And he redoes it and he makes nice short jacket with ??? collars and a button in the front. And suddenly it becomes a nice jacket. In Israel you really don't need a long coat. A jacket is sufficient for the winter. So my dad works during the day as a builder and at night he sits by his machine and he...

He moonlights.

He moonlights and he turns out all these fancy jackets. And this man pays him for it and he sells these jackets. The man became wealthy. My dad made a living. The man became wealthy. So life was a little more organized. And so my mom... And things got better already. You know, people started working and um, having little gardens and uh. They started importing meat from Australia, frozen meat. So you buy a piece of meat and you go and you get a bone and you make a ??? for Shabbos and you go and you put it in the oven. And you already are a little better off.

Where were you living?

We lived in Lut.

In Lut. So you're still, you're still in...

Oh yeah. We're still in Lut and....

Which is now electricity and there's light.


Running water.

Electricity and water and you go out and you walk on the street on Shabbat and you go to a movie already and it's much better now, you know. You have friends and, and pretty soon you feel kind of you know, comfortable. And my sister's in the United States right.

She's already, she's already moved here.

Yeah, she's in the United States and that's already a couple years later. This is already maybe '5...'50, '51. She sends us already packages with some clothes so we are already dressed a little better. And uh, my uncle sends us some food from England, 'cause he lives in England now. So we get a little help from him. So we're already on our way to a little better situation. And, uh...

[interruption in interview]

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