Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991


In Ungvar.

Yeah, but she was renting the place. So Hungarian people was the owners from the house, so we was always afraid that they will say. And I schlepped myself with my uncle and we schlepped away the sugar. And he never knew that he brought sugar. So he ask me, why did I do that, he woulda helped me. I said, "Oh I just like it to do it myself." So I loaded myself at home and unloaded in the city. And I maked lots of money. I say, "Oh my husband will come home and he will be so proud of me." Uh, you know. When they was taking us away, I uh, on the table, I don't know how many hundred pengos was standing there, because they come after Pesach and I was counting uh, the money in the evening and I left it on the table. But I took the money with me. They didn't take the money from me. There was--because they took us in a next city, to the school and then they were searching everybody and took away the jewelry and they took away uh, the money, everything. But a gentile woman who, in the other town who I was very friendly with her daughter, she brought us hot coffee there and they let her bring in. So from the morning I maked like, you know uh, to close the, the, the bottle because she brought us in bottles like, I don't know, beer bottles or so, she, she brought us coffee. So I wrapped it in a, in a newspaper, the money and I put a stopper on the bottle. When we come out, I took it with me. But then when we come to Auschwitz, we left everything. So there it was.

Um what--do you remember the last time you saw your father?

The last time when we come to Auschwitz.

He was with you.

Uh, yeah. On Shevuoth you know, the second day on Shevuoth. That's what I cry, kept, keep my Yahrzeit with my little brother. My little brother was asking me for food and I say, "No, because we will come back." And always bothers me 'til today, why didn't I give him to eat. Always bothering me. He was so hungry, we traveling on that train night and day and that poor kid was hungry and I never give him a piece of bread. I said, "No we're saving." I give him everyday something, but you know, I was holding off from him. I say, "We come back you know, we will, we should have a treat. But we never came back there. And that guy who, a Jewish guy, we ask him where are we. And he was in you know, in those striped clothes, so where are we. And he says, "Arbeit macht frei." You know, in Auschwitz when you arrive and he says, "Just try to go to the right. Give the children away. 'Kay, give the children away." But--so my little brother, he was eleven year old. He was holding on to me. And my father say, "Put," when we come to Mengele, so my father dragged him, he says, "Come with me, you come with me," and he was cry...screaming like I would be the mother. "Leitchel, Leitchel, I wanna be with you, I wanna be with you." And uh, Mengele says "Go, go, go," and my father went with him.

To the left.

To the left, yeah. But my father would have survived because he was just a survivor, he was just a survivor. He could be hungry you know, like in, in uh, when we was in Car...uh, there in uh, where theys gathered us. We didn't get to eat. He could go, he, he had something he give us to eat and he didn't eat. But then there was a, a rich Jew who had lots of fields and so, I don't know how, like a baron. He had even chazzars and everything. So uh, he took me, he, he liked my brother who, who was killed. He, he knew my brother and he wanted he should marry his daughter. But he would never marry his daughter because we was religious and they wasn't. So uh, he took me in there to work you know, in the--so we was making things you know, noodles and things we was making. And they cooked outside in a--like when they was cooking clothes, in those things you know, built in and they cooked that. And anybody who used to come there, a guy came and they was wearing those slacks, the men which was gathered here you know, with uh, together with the boots. They was uh, so I--one guy he come up and I say "Schwartz, open your pants," you know. He was thinking I want to attack him. So he says uh, "Why you wanna, I should." "Don't worry." And I put knoble and, and, and you know, garlic and onion in the bottom in his pants. And I say, "Go and give for alle Berezners, for the Berezners." You know, for those people there where we are. And he was too from there. "Go and give them." And when he was going through the gate they searched people. And he was carrying big pants, they looked, it's empty. And I just pushed him, "Get out of here, why you want here." And I pushed him out, you know.

This was in the ghetto.

In the ghetto, yeah.

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