|"It was a hole in the ground."|
Moravska Ostrava, Czechoslovakia
|It was a hole in a ground. In one corner a small stove and alongside a platform made of logs from fallen trees and on top of the logs was straw covered with a blanket, and you have to visualize, we were... our feet were facing each other. On one side grandmother with grandfather and on the other side my father, my mother and myself and we were touching with feet our grandparents. And when... The bunker had couple steps -- I don't remember, three or four -- and there was a make-believe sort of a door that was blocking it so that there was always semi-dark in the bunker. And when somebody had to go out, he had to go couple, couple yards from the bunker and relieve himself. So, before we went out, we always checked the weather and we tried to go out only when it was either snowing or raining, so to hide.|
Wilek (William) Loew
|But I got in, into, into, into the ghetto because I wanted to see what happened to my mother. I rushed in into the house. The house was empty, but the hiding place where we had a hiding place for my mother was a couch. A couch consisted of a frame and on top of the frame there was this soft part which is the couch. And you couldn't tell whether that couch, uh, was separate. For, for anyone else it was one part, the frame and the couch, the upper part, was one unit. That's why when there was any Aktion, my mother will be hiding over there. I will make sure of that. When I got home, the upper part was moved, so I was scared of that. And when I cried out for my mother, she came to life, she was there. She was on the end side of the couch, so even it was moved, she was in that area. She was wrapped around in a blanket, dark blanket. So even they were looking for her, they didn't find her. She was there, so she, we had our moments.|
Monique's Jewish parents met in Paris. Her father had emigrated there from Russia to study engineering, and her mother had come from Poland as a young child. Monique's father did not have enough money to finish university, so he went to work as an upholsterer. He also shared a small business which sold his hand-tooled leather purses.
1933-39: Monique's mother was 20 when she gave birth to Monique in 1937. Two years later, Parisians were threatened by the possibility of bombing by the Germans, and French authorities suggested that all mothers with young children leave the city. With the help of the authorities, Monique and her mother fled to the town of St. Laurent de Neste in the Pyrenees. Monique's father soon joined them.
1940-44: When she was 5, Monique was hidden with other children at the home of a family in the Pyrenees. The family would punish the children by not giving them food. Monique was sometimes so hungry that she would dig outside for roots in the ground to eat. Monique knew she was being hidden with the family because conditions were dangerous, but she missed her parents very much. One day, sensing that Monique was not well, her mother came and took her.
Monique and her family survived the war with the help of many people in St. Laurent de Neste. In 1950 the Jacksons emigrated to the United States.
|Copyright © United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.|