Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991

Relations with Non-Jews

Did you have non-Jewish friends?

Uh, only non-Jewish. Only non-Jewish. They looked up to me because I was Jewish. Nobody...Just one guy always hit me and called me toravazsid you know, I don't know torava means... And uh, hit me all the time. So when he started and the Hungarian was there and they already, when they start already, when we, war start you know, and we was going out. So they went, we, our house was, a hill behind the house, a big hill to go up. And all fruit trees on that hill. All kinda trees. So they used to go and they pulled out a plum tree with the roots, with everything and didn't take the plums, just left you know, the tree on the ground.

Just to vandalize the orchard.

Yeah. And they was throwing down stones from there. So my father went and took a big stick and he got a few kids and he give it to them. So uh, and they called the police. You couldn't just call on the phone the police you know, you have to go to the next town and, for the police. But the police, they wasn't bad to us because if they come to the town, where should they go? They went to the Jewish people to eat, you know.

The police were, were Hungarian police?

The Hungarian, yeah.

Already occupied.

Yeah. And uh, that time I was uh, married already and uh, I mean, I served strudel and uh, he asked me if I would teach his wife to make strudel. So my mother said uh, to me you couldn't go because they make it with chazar and you couldn't touch it. I said, "Ma, don't you see what's going on? I wash my hand and I be kosher again." I said, "it doesn't matter how she makes it, but I have to go to show her how to make the dough," and so. Because I was always learning to bake. I was just a little girl and I was traveling to the city and my aunt always had poppy seed and, and uh, and with nuts you know, cakes, put in the side and I said, oh, so good. And I took the recipes and I come home and we did--we had our own, we maked our own fire and baked. So I just stuck my hand in and I knew the temperature and come out. My father used to go all the time, "Oh Lanka's coming home, she will bake, she will make things." So I went and I teached that Hungarian woman, the gendarme's wife how to bake, you know. And, uh...

People--when you were smaller and you had non-Jewish friends uh, you couldn't eat at their house, did they come to your house? Did they eat?

Yeah, yeah, they come to my house and they wanted to come all the time to my house. But my mother said don't give 'em nothing because uh, just a piece of bread and they put lekwhar on it, you cook your own lekwhar. I cook even now, I cook.

What's lekwhar?

And um, I make very good, like ??? I just put it here because I didn't have a jar.

Like preserves, is that a preserves, something like that?

Yeah, plum. You want to taste it?


Those gentile people uh, they don't--you know, they kept us that we are some special, the kids. They never bothered us.

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