Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lanka Ilkow - October 12, 1991

Immigration to America

So you were...


six years in Sweden.

Yeah, six and a half, I was. Martin was three years.

When you tried to tell anybody in, in uh, Detroit about the war, what did they do?

You see, from the beginning I didn't want to talk about it.

Why not?

Bothered me. Bothered me because American people, they say, "Oh, how could you survive those things and so." So I didn't want to talk about it. I never told my children, n...nothing. I just told them they should be Jewish like... Also home, my mother. We knew we're Jewish and we can't mix with others and, and we stick by our reli...religion. I wanted to go to dances sometime. I say, "Mom, there's no Jewish boys there." So uh, younger from me. So I wanted to go and she said, "Oh! Tantzen mit skutzim." so she told me I can't go because the skutzim would grab me, everybody to dance if I would come there. Because I was differently dressed, I looked differently, so they liked me. But my mother said no, so I didn't go. But here in America children don't listen to you. My oldest daughter, she did. Only she married what she wanted, which I hated him from the beginning he walked into my house. And now I think she's making another mistake. I'm upset now she goes with somebody. Because, he's a foot doctor, he's appealing to her, he's a doctor. But he has no office. He works in uh, in uh, senior citizen homes and so on and uh, he's uh, he lost the office and I found out why he lost. So I don't know. His mother always liked my daughter and she wanted her for a daughter-in-law. And I told--tell her, "No, don't rush into marriage. I know you like him. Do whatever you want with him. Just don't marry him." And uh, I think she's listening now.

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