Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Felicia Shloss - February 9, 1983

Moving to the United States

All right, after the war you got married...


...and you had children.

Yes, I have two daughters.

You came to the United States when?

In 1949. I think we were four years still in Germany.

You became an American citizen?

Yes, right after whatever the time was.

Five years?

Yeah. Nineteen fifty-four I became American citizen--I became a citizen.

Have you uh, ever told your children about...

Uh, as I told you, we tried not to. Especially my husband--you met my husband. He doesn't want to talk about it and we tried not to. We tried to raise good citizens, good educated girls that they wouldn't have a grudge. But uh, sometimes I told my younger daughter and she--it didn't register in her little mind that people could be so cruel. She was still um, I say something ???, about the Germans, she still thinks not all--I didn't say all Germans were bad. In her mind she can't imagine that people can be so bad and cruel, but...

When you had your younger daughter you told me that um, you named her...


Mary? Why?

I was afraid for her to be a Jew. Wouldn't you be? To be a Jew, we--I discussed it with my husband. We can be Polacks now. No one will recognize that we are Jew. And this crossed our mind and my husband said it too. You go on an airplane, you go here and there and so many people ??? but why should a child suffer? I said to myself, "All right we live our lives. We went through--but why should a child suffer the same thing what we suffered?" And, uh...

Did you have dreams about her?


Your daughter.

Oh, all the times when I bought something or my daughters when they were born--I used to hide them in Christmas trees and uh, I used to hide them. Every night I had dreams that the Germans are coming. I see the border, I see the Germans, I see--and uh, whatever it came uh, any little thing I bought that I--it was precious to me, I was hiding at night for the-- from the Germans

In your dreams?

In my dreams, yeah.

You still dream about them?

Uh, I dream a lot when I see those movies. I saw Sophie's Choice. I dreamt a lot. I am sick a couple of weeks afterwards. You can't uh, it's like a little door is opening some place there, and you, you there. You--I, I don't know. I'm uh, how do you say? I'm not uh, um, a baby. I don't--never baby myself but I love my chil...children above my life so the children I was hiding from them.

Is her name still Mary?

No, she is Marla now. She changed it herself when she became uh, when she was eight...sixteen years old. She uh, supposed to get her license, so she changed her--our name was Shlossbeitel, we changed it to Shloss. And she changed her name, legally, Marla Shloss.

Does she know why you named her Mary?

Yes, I told her.

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