Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991

First Husband

Did you live in Slovakia?


He li...

no. Here, here we lived in Berezny now when we got married.

But he was Slovak so they were, you were worried he's get taken.

Yeah, so they was taken to, in '41 they took all the Slovaks and they said they are Polish and so they shipped them to Poland and they killed them there.

And your husband, did he--was he one of those?

My husband, he run away to Russia because everybody, the police uh, always come over. He had a store, it was his uncle's you know, hardware store. And they uh, he was a only uh, they didn't have children. So he was their child and they already--the uncle died and everything was his already. So uh, the police was coming always taking from the store, the gendarmes--the Hungarian.

Gendarmes, yeah.

And they come and taking from the store and say, "Oh, we know you are communist, but so long time here, you don't have to worry." So he start to worry because he says that. So one day he disappeared. He wanted we should go with him too, with my husband to Russia. But I was scared. Uh, I say "I have no reason to go to Russia." And my first husband didn't want to go either. He says, "Why should I go to Russia. What's--I didn't do nothing." But he was afraid because they you know, said he's a communist.

Your first husband.


Oh, your current...

my present husband. He used to talk all the time you know, so he thought he's a communist. But he was not a communist.

What happened to your first husband?

My husband they took away for uh, forced labor and they took him to Poland and I never saw him again. After two years...


we was in hiding and so. Then for forced labor they was taking the men.

Who took him? The Hungarians?

The Hungarians, yeah. And um, I used to go after him to some cities. He was in uh, Romania first in a place and uh, I uh, I was--there was no hotel so I was sleeping in a, it was a priest, you know. And he let me. But he was married, the priest. So uh, I don't know what kinda priest he was. Because we had only, we didn't have Roman Catholics, we had, uh...

Greek Orthodox.

Greek uh, Orthodox. So they got married, the priests, before they are or...ordained. Matter of fact I have--they had twins. We was born on the same day, you know. So they always, and it was the birthdays they always invited me, and she, she baked. But my mother always told me, you can't eat there. So, she says, "No I made you, it was a special part of a ??? called it uh, oh, how they call it, ??? ? And she says, always told me she baked with that, only I should eat. And, uh...

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