Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991


The following is an interview with Mrs. Lanka Ilkow at her home in Southfield Michigan on the morning of October 12, 1991. The interviewer is Sidney Bolkosky.

Could you tell me your name and where you were born?

I'm Lanka Ilkow, born in Moskovitch in Czechoslovakia and in Karpatin--a small town. It's called Nowosielica.

And where is that near? What city is it near?

Uh, near the capitol city of Ungvar, Uzhgorod. It was that time Czechoslovakian. But in '39 we become Hungarian, you know.

And during the war um, when the Germans came um, where were you then during the war. Do you remember the names of the places?

Yeah, I was in ??? you know, in uh, the Germans didn't came in there. The Hungarians, when they came in and took over. The Germans didn't come to the villages and so you know, they were s...I think just in Budapest. I never saw a German, you know.

Were you--you were deported during the war?

I was deported, we was deported uh, uh, in April uh, I don't know the date, but uh, it's right after Passover--the day after Passover we was taken. And uh, nine...in uh, forty...'44, in '44. And we was taken to a ghetto.

Where was the ghetto?

In Ungvar...

The Ung...

called that then. Because Uzhgorod was by Czechoslovakian, Ungvar with the Hungarian. And we was put in a, a factory, which they made uh, bricks, in a brick factory. And uh, everybody--the villages and so was put together. And we didn't take bedding with us. So we was freezing to death. Everybody was giving us something, you know. And we were sharing. Everybody was willing to share. And we was freezing there and we was there. About every week they were selecting people and put 'em inside. Like Steiger they took too you know, and she was lost without him because they was very close. So the rich people they was sorting out and they took 'em first.


To the transport.


But not the Germans. The Hungarians took us.

And where were you transported when you were taken?

Well, we was taken, we was--to Auschwitz. We was going forever on that train. And we were--never dreamed that they would do something like this, separate us. I could have you know, I was blonde, young, and not bad looking. I coulda lived anyplace you know, run away. Because uh, I was--we was farmers at home and I could have worked on a farm or anyplace. But I was thinking I wanna go with my parents. In Europe the people was very close to their parents. So uh, we arrived to Auschwitz and I remember...

We'll come back, we'll talk about Auschwitz. How long were you there?

In Auschwitz?


Six months.

And then where?

Then I was uh, we was taken from Auschwitz to Hundsfeld, this uh, near Breslau. And we was working there. First I, we was digging like uh, plumbers, working. And then finally we was, they took us to the ammunition factory to work. I forgot the name of the factory, it's the one thing I don't remember.

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