Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991

Jewish Community in Sweden

Was there a Swedish-Jewish community there?

Yeah, it was. But uh, they really wasn't doing nothing for us. The Gentile people did. Even in Sweden all the time the boys was coming, they wanted to go with us. So uh, we never wanted to go with one, we went with groups. So uh, they always talk that Jewish people own that and Jewish people is so rich here and they--I heard more anti-Semitism there than I heard at home when I was growing up.

From Jews?


From the non-Jews.

From, from non-Jews.


Yeah. They tell us in uh, they said in Swedish, "Look, she's Judiska, she's Jewish." I say, "How do you know?" He say, "See, she has a crooked nose and black hair, she's Jewish." And uh, they was too, the Jewish people didn't accept us there, you know. We went uh, in the Jewish Center, we was alone, separated from them. They didn't bother with us. So we used to go to dances where uh, everybody went. And the boys, the Gentile boys was grabbing us to dance, and so. But they wanted to go away with us and be maked up. But everybody should follow. If one goes someplace they should follow us. So once, I wind up, it was a amusement park in uh, Gottenberg, Sweden. And we went to that amusement park ??? uh, one Sunday. And this is still from the camp. We were still in the camp. And we come there and we met there a guy. So every--he went with us and from some, my--we talked to him somehow, German and Swedish a little. And so we talked to him. And then we said we're going to take the streetcar home, because we wa...we had to be in a cer...eleven o'clock in, in the camp there. And uh, we're--we, we missed the, we took the streetcar the wrong way, you know. So we didn't have any more money to go back. So we stand there and cry and uh, and that guy he uh, came with us, he didn't know where we're going. So he said, ???, ???, he didn't know where this is. So uh, we had to go, the, the guy told us that we have to take a streetcar the, the different direction. And then we had to take another streetcar and then we had to take a bus, we can't--to come to the barracks there. [coughs] So.

Now let me ask, so you weren't staying with this aristocratic family then.

Oh this was before, before.

Before. I see.

So uh, poor guy, he was coming--it was five of us. So what can he do with five girls, he can't do nothing. So he was uh, we come and we miss the bus now. So what should we do? We miss the bus, we're standing there. The poor guy took a taxi and paid for a taxi and dropped us off there, you know. And we run in and they ask "Which barrack are you, which barrack?" And I said "Barrack 10,"--we was in Barrack 2, you know. And they punish next day the Barrack 10 and we was in Barrack 2, you know. So uh, and they were so stupid those Swedish guys. They uh, was thinking that the girls will be loose for them just like this. But uh, none of the girls, you know. We kept together for some reason. And uh, then uh, when they emptied, everybody had to go to work, then I went to work, you know.

And your sister um, what? She met some--she met a Swedish man.

Well, in the camp, here. She--he was so handsome, a flyer.

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