Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991


So when this bar mitzvah took place, your grandson wanted you there.

Wha...so, oh sure, but uh, now the second bar mitzvah you know, he's making. So, in March. He decided that he doesn't want we should come, be present. So he told my daughter that, not her friends and nobody from the family. I don't have family here. It's already uh, fourth cousins or what. I don't have first cousins here. So uh, and my husband, he has a big family but they're not close. So uh, it--so he decided that he want make, he will make the bar mitzvah and he will eliminate us. But he wanted she should come, my daughter. She said "No. You're making a bar mi...you make yourself." So he decided he will do it himself. So we planned that we will do Sunday. I was a caterer, I will, you know, make the foods and hire waitresses and they will do it, warm up the food. So uh, I wouldn't let my daughter to spend this kind of money for the caterers. They charge, it's ridiculous, the food is expensive but uh, they charge very big prices. Like hundred dollar a plate, dinner. It's ridiculous. When I was in it I was twenty-five dollar the most I charged. So uh, anyway uh, my daughter told him no and my grandson said like this. He says, he doesn't like me, he told my grandson. And he says, "But I love my Bobe and Bobe loves me and Zeidee love me, they're very good to me. And I want them there or nothing." So uh, then he says, "How 'bout grandma Frieda?" Uh, he says, well--his mother. She--he says, "What does she do for me?" She uh, gives him uh, every child, the two children, she gives like, he was thirteen, the other boy, she give him thirteen dollar on his bar mitzvah. And I give 'em--we're not rich. My husband just worked in a factory and so on. But I--we give 'em thousand dollar bond. Plus I bought 'em a necklace and I bought 'em a, a ring made, a...another you know uh, five, six hundred dollar I spent. So uh, they know it, the children.

Let me ask you a question about... Do your grandchildren know about your grandfather?


You've told them stories about him?

Yeah, I always told them, those two boys. I raised them. They was in the house and I always told them. And they come hug me and kiss me and they feel very close to me. Special.

What kind of stories did you tell them about your grandfather?

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