Chapter 14

Kotlas was a town that separated the free world from the GULAG. From Kotlas, the train went north through the country of prisoners. The train was empty. Before boarding the train we went to the market to buy something to eat. We had a few rubles. We bought the only thing they had, frozen carrots. It had to keep us well fed for about 12 hours. On trains one could always get hot water. I remember feeling more secure.  We will be with Father and he will take care of us. I was not prepared for what was at stake.

Life in a GULAG is completely different from the real world. The prisoners as well as so called liberated have different morality. They do not believe in life after they leave Gulag. And as a matter of fact, most of them stayed and were working as free people. The world beyond was not able to accept people tarnished, accused of being an enemy of the state. It was dangerous to associate with any one who had  not only been arrested and sentenced, but even with someone who had been interrogated by the NKVD. I remember one woman who, after completing a 5-year sentence, returned to Moscow. She came back to live and to work within the organization of GULAG. She had a little girl, born in GULAG. Her name was Helena. We called her the Beautiful Helena of Troy. Her mother was Greek. Now, back to the train. We were far north. It was mid September, the beginning of polar winter. The view from the train was not changing.  The forest, no signs of villages or towns. It was cloudy and seemed to be cold. The attendant knew that we were getting off in Izma. The train would stop only to let people to get off or to get in. At some point, we were told that we would be in Izma soon. The train stopped in the middle of a forest. There was no railroad station. It was built later, while we were there. There was a pathway leading a little uphill. There was no sign of housing that we could see. The ground was covered with a tiny layer of powder snow. It was cold. We left Minsk in June;  warm, nice sunny weather .We carried a small bundle of our possessions. We did not have adequate shoes. We wore sandals.  We were cold. We walked a short distance and then we saw a young man, dressed in simple, but warm clothes, and what drew my attention was his footwear, it looked like regular ski boots. This man was Sam, my future husband. He knew right away that we were the daughters who were expected to arrive. Father told him that we were coming. Since train schedules did not exist, no one knew when to expect our arrival. Sam was there, because he was on the way for a special work assignment for all employees on the day of the official rest. There was an official day of rest in GULAG. The difference was, that one was assigned to a different kind of labor.  Sam greeted us in Polish and told us that he would walk us to father’s quarters. At that time it was a tiny room in the clinic within the area of the labor camp.

The camp “colony” was within a wire fence. There were guards at the gate. Prisoners were not permitted to be outside the gated area. Free people had to have a permit to enter. During the day, some of privileged prisoners had permits to move around freely within the area of the section that was called colony.  Ours was the second colony of the North Railroad Gulag. It consisted of several fenced-in log houses, with a bathhouse, a kitchen, medical office and a general office. The housing of the free people employed by the NKVD was outside the fenced-off area. There were log houses, poorly built. The heating system was most primitive. It consisted of an iron barrel with an outlet to a chimney. It gave heat as long as the wood was burning. There was no problem with the supply of wood.

We entered the gated camp and Sam took us directly to father’s room in the clinic. We arrived in the morning. Father was not there. There was food on the table, even an apple. We were very hungry. We started to eat right away. A few minutes later father walked in. There were a lot of tears.   At some point father said that we should meet his assistant nurse an Olga Nikolaevna Lichodzeiewska. He asked her to come out from her room. She answered that she is not ready. Father appeared to be hurt. He wanted to share the happy moment with a person whom he felt was a close friend. In the reality Olga was his mistress. We did not know it at that time, but we were informed about their relationship few days later. The truth was painful. Mother was alive; at least we hoped that she was. She missed her husband very much. It was painful to see that he had a mistress. We were immature and did not understand what time and the distance can do to a loving couple. We learned about life’s complications fast. Gulag was a special school in understanding the naked human relationship. The need for protection by sexual closeness. There was also a need for a surrogate family. The real family was living in a world that was unreal for the prisoners. There was no hope that they will be able to go back to the life lost. This was the cruel truth of the system of labor camps. The sheltered life, I had at home, did not prepare me for man -woman relationship in the camp. There was no love, although there were exceptions. There was pairing for security and also to fight loneliness. There was sharing. Olga Nikolaievna came in about half an hour after our arrival. She was slim, about my height. She had short, straight blond hair; gray eyes and she looked in a way “Aristocratic” or above the average person. She walked in wearing my father’s morning jacket that mother sent him in a package. I remember the pain I felt, seeing her in this jacket. Did she wear it to emphasize her relationship with my father? Since that time I became her enemy. She was moody and father tried hard to please her and I think now, that I did not want any one to share father’s love for his family. Olga was a very tragic person. Her husband was a commerce attache of the Soviet Union in London and lately in Vienna. They had a daughter. In  1937 her husband he was recalled to Moscow and he vanished. A few months later Olga was ordered to return with the child. Olga was incarcerated and the child was placed in an orphanage. She was searching for her daughter for a long time, and finally she located her. The letter came just before the war started. It was the first and the last time she heard about her child. She was not the only one who was separated from her family. Stalin was a specialist in breaking up families. Olga had special privileges because of father’s protection. Instead of sharing the quarters with other female prisoners, she had a tiny room in the clinic. She also was able to share with my father the food he was getting directly from the communal kitchen, but prepared especially for the few privileged persons. The population of the camp was very diverse. The majority was political prisoners, who prior to  arrest were held high positions in the party. There were women who had been employed as  hostess in the International hotel in Moscow. There was one very pretty woman, named Jana, in Russian Zhana.  She was dark and exceptionally elegant, even in the camp clothes. She worked in the office and had a permit to move around without a guard. There were couples where he was free and she was a prisoner.  They had to use influence and bribes to stay in the same division. There was a constant fear of separation. All women were subjected to constant pressure to submit to sexual relationships. The men were in the majority. The other class of prisoners was called “Urka”. They were simple criminals: thieves, murderers, and prostitutes. They usually were holding positions in the supply magazine, the kitchen and the communal bath. These were the lucrative positions. Every one needed their favors. There was also a tailor, a shoemaker. They were able to do miracles. For example Ella and I had a coat made up from a blanket. The footwear was made from felt with the sole made from rubber. At one point Ella had a coat made from a reindeer skin with boots to match. We also had sheepskin coats for the winter. In my album I have one Photo from GULAG in a sheepskin. The day we arrived, or the next day, we moved to a room in a house outside of the fenced-in area. We shared the house with one of the important “dignitaries” and his wife.We had 2 beds. I slept with Ella. One night I was waiting for our father to come home. It was late at night. We were frightened. Everything around us was strange. It was a world we did not know and at that time we were not able to understand it .We were awake when father returned. I was angry and hurt. I told him about mother’s loneliness and despair. I told him how much she missed him. I also told him how hurt I was because of his relationship with Olga. I do not know how it happened, but father said that if we do not approve of his life, we could leave. Ella and I got dressed and went to the door. I did not know what to do. As far as I remember Ella kept quiet. Suddenly a cloud burst and all three of us were crying. We went to sleep and I wet the bed. All of this was a nightmare.

And now my children are joking about my attacks of anxiety and fear. I am O.K. lately, although the memories are vivid and extremely painful.

All our possessions were in the one room.  The room in the small house shared with the commissar of the second colony. This person was in charge of moving the prisoners from one job to another. Very often it was a sentence of slow death He was an alcoholic. He needed constant supply of alcohol. Since drinking alcohol was in a short supply, he requested to be given alcohol-based medicine. At this point he was dependent on my father.  Father was in charge of the medical supplies.
       One evening we having dinner. As usually we had our meals within the camp. The meals were delivered to the clinic.  They were especially prepared by the chef of the general kitchen. It was a very cold night With a full moon, a starlit northern sky and  deep white snow on the ground, it appeared unreal . Then the fire alarm sounded. We ran out to see what was happening.  Our house was on fire. We ran to the house. The flames prevented us our entering. At that moment a young man jumped in through the window and came out with a few pieces of our belongings and , most important,Ella’s wristwatch. This young man was Ahmed Kustaev. Ahmed was a political prisoner working in the office He was a Kazakh He was tall, slim, and attractive. His story was one of millions in the Stalin era.  While attending a school he made a joke. He was reported to NKVD and imprisoned as an enemy of the state. He was only 17. His family was not notified. He did not want to contact them, because it would endanger them. He appeared to be from an aristocratic family. His way of relating to others indicated good upbringing. He became our companion. He developed  a special relationship with Ella. My sister was in love. It lasted several months until one night Ella came home crying. Ahmed told her that they should not continue, because it  was becoming dangerous for him. Ella was desperate. She was hysterical. I remember my helplessness. My little sister was hurt and there was nothing I could do. Ahmed became a friend of a fellow prisoner, a very pretty blonde with green eyes. He became her protector. She was supposed to be transferred to another division, but Ahmed used his influence and his charm and she stayed. Ahmed was charming. Ahmed had a friend, a Jewish young man. Valentine. Valentine was cultured, handsome and elegant. The two were working together and they were close friends. One evening, many month later, but before Ahmed broke up with Ella, they came to the clinic intoxicated. They were funny. They were talking nonsense. It would be very funny, if not for the fact that the punishment could be severe. They admitted that they got high on Chloral Hydrate from the pharmacy. Father helped them to return to their room safely, without alarming the guards. Ahmed and Valentine were prisoners but they belonged to the privileged class of prisoners. They had a permit to move around except for after working hours. Ahmed was the darling of all adult prisoners. Many years later, when we were in Tashkent ,one ex prisoner Eliasov, brought us the news that Ahmed was freed and went to join family in Kazakhstan.  Eliasov was in the GULAG when we were there. He was not a political prisoner He was a Boukhara Jew from Tashkent. He had been sentenced for illegal transactions. Because he was not a political prisoner he was able to work in the most profitable section, the general magazine. He was able to bribe with gifts of food. He befriended our father. For the gift of food and clothing father provided him with medical services and medicine. Eliasov was liberated in 1943. He returned to his family in Tashkent. His family had lived in Tashkent since the arrival of first Jews with the silk trade. Boukhara Jews were wealthy traders. They were observant Jews, in their customs  more like Arabs. Women did not sit with men not only in the synagogue, but also during meals or while men were having their customary tea. We stayed with the family in Tashkent. They were kind enough to accept a family of strangers, and to help us in the most crucial time of starting a new life in Tashkent. But  I will write about this later. Many things happened in between.

After the house was destroyed by fire, we were assigned to a house across the road from the 2-nd colony. It was a house we shared with a young Russian woman, Vera. Her husband was mobilized and was fighting the Germans. She was an employee of the GULAG. Vera was living with her little son.  A woman prisoner was assigned to her as a nanny and a maid. Our quarters consisted of one big room, small kitchen and a vestibule. There was an outhouse shared by both families. We also had a maid assigned to us named Fruzia.  She was a political prisoner, very religious Her husband disappeared and her son, a teenager, was in a different part of a GULAG. It was the time, when  religions were persecuted .To be religious was against the law. Fruzia had a male friend, a high priest in the Russian Orthodox Church.  He was assigned to scrub floors in the clinic. He did it kneeling and praying. This way he could not be caught praying which meant punishment.

Father had several close friends, with whom he could talk without fear. One of them was a physician from Azerbidzan, Doctor Mahmedov. He was in charge of a small infirmary. This infirmary served mostly free employees of the GULAG, but if I remember  correctly, also prisoners were treated there. Ella was assigned to work under his direction. Ella always wanted to deliver babies. She got her first lesson, working with Dr. Mahmedov. Until now, she considers him to be a very good clinician. Than it was Dr. Icchakov, a Tatar from Kazan. He had a very long sentence as a dissident. For the same reason, he was assigned to work in a high security camp for dangerous criminals. This camp had double fence with a lot of security guards. I visited him once. It was not an easy experience. To get to this camp one had to walk over a suspension bridge. The bridge was long. One had to walk on two logs held together by a rope, and to hold on to ropes on either site. The bridge was used in the summer. In the winter the frozen Izma River was easy to cross even for heavy tractors. Dr. Icchakov was a short man with a very menacing face. His eyes were black and slanted. He was an ophthalmologist, eye doctor. He was intelligent above the level of ordinary Russian physician and he was a devoted anti-Stalinist. I admired him for his sense of humor and his intelligence. I would like to mention also the three men who worked as the attendants in the clinic and in reality  were our servants. This position saved them from hard labor. And it was my father, who was in control.  One of them was a Greek sailor, a short man with a gray moustache. His gait was a broad-based gait of a sailor. It is a professional gait learned to maintain balance on a rocking ship. The only reason for his incarceration was that being in the marine in the Black Sea he was exposed to contact with the foreigners. Another man's name was Abakov. He was a streetwise wheeler-dealer. He helped Sam to exchange tobacco for food and he was a runner between the crooks and our world. The third one, Aphanasiev, was also a non-political prisoner. I do not remember what his crime was. Another interesting person was Abram. He became a doctor’s assistant. It was a sheltered position.  He had a woman friend, Sarah. Sarah was born in Palestine. She was married to a  Palestinian Jew. They were kibutzniks and communists. In 1937 a boat with Palestinian Jews arrived in Odessa. They ware greeted with music and a reception. And then they were separated from their spouses and they were shipped to labor camps. Sarah did not know the whereabouts of her husband. She was not well and Abram was her protector. We met Abram in Tashkent in 1945. He told us about Ahmed being freed and also that Sarah found her husband. Abram was reunited with his wife. Miracles do happen. I wrote about many peoples who touched our life. I did not mention Sam.

Sam and my father met when both were prisoners.  Father was ordered to organize a medical clinic. He went to other colonies to look for personne. Sam approached father.  Sam was assigned to a hard labor. Sam was sure that he is not able to survive in thieseconditions much longer. He explained his fear to my father.  Father transferred Sam to the second colony. Sam was in charge of the dental laboratory. The conditions were good .Sam was assigned to share a room with a Polish young man, a barber. The young man left after the amnesty. Sam and my father decided to stay within the GULAG system.  It was a strange and complicated turn of destiny. And it is how I met Sam.

Sam was the only man, whom I loved and still love What  I write, is totally true. I do not want to give you a false impression of our relationship. Sam was the first person we met when we arrived in Izma. He was also the only person from Poland. He became also the only man I trusted. The morality of people in GULAG differed from the morality of the outside world. Men and women were attracted to each other for comfort, reassurance and some kind of stability in the world that could not be trusted.  Sam was working in the clinic. Father was the director of all medical facilities, and in addition he was practicing dentistry.  .Sam was doing the dental technician work, Father took care of a patient. Both were dependent of each other. The patient was seen by the dentist first (it was father) then the prosthetic work was done by Sam. There were bribes involved. If a patient brought a gift to my father only, Sam would not do the work until he got his share. One day there was a quarrel and with my interference they decided that I had to be in between. It meant that I will get whatever the patient brings and then I will divide it appropriately. The bribe was usually in produce: such as milk, tobacco, oil, soap, flour, and even a live chicken.  I remember the live chicken. I took it home and after she laid a few eggs and was ready to sit on them, we helped her and as a result we had few more chickens and a supply of fresh eggs.

When we arrived in Izma, my work assignment was to be an assistant to the dental technician, Sam. Sam was living outside the zone in a one-room log house deep in the forest. He would come to the clinic early.  He would shave, then have a breakfast supplied from the camp kitchen (also a bribe). He had a record player and a few records. One of the records was a march from Tannhauser  by Wagner. He also had on a record of Ravel’s Bolero, a tango, a waltz and some others.  He used to listen to the music while working. Sam liked dental work. He took a pleasure in teasing me.  He was not kind. He made jokes about my work and I was very sensitive and I resented it. He did not try to flirt with me, and I had no clue that he found me attractive until few months later. Sam was 8 years older than I. He was an adult experienced, well-traveled man, while I was a naive sheltered girl.  I was attracted to him and also there was a curiosity about Sam as a man.  Sam had girlfriends sleep in, but not live in. Each one lasted  a short time. I knew each one. One was an actress in a show for the GULAG. The next was a nice young woman Tonya, an excellent dancer. She got married after they broke up.  I began to flirt with Sam when he was still having an affair with Tonya. I wanted his attention desperately. Sometimes he woud have the music and we would dance, both of us being good dancers. It was a sensual pleasure to be close to Sam.  His kisses were a new sensation. I still feel the pleasure of these kisses. He would look straight into my eyes, when kissing me slowly. I had been kissed before but never felt so moved. I did not understand my reaction. And here I was a girl who left her boyfriend in France, believing that she was in love, falling in love with a mature man 8 years senior. Sam never talked to me about himself. I did not know anything about him except that he was from Krakow and that he left behind his mother, a sister and a half-brother. He told me about his girlfriend in Krakow Hania. He was very much in love with her. Sam left his office when the Gestapo walked in. He was notified by a son of the super of the building, who ran upstairs to worn him. Sam had no time to waste. He took off his white lab coat, reached into the drawer where he had money and a pair of earrings that I have now. He had no time to go to see his family. He traveled to the border with the Soviet Union He believed that he should disappear for a short time. He planned to return to Krakow. While crossing the border he was caught by the Soviet police and jailed. The next step was  prison in Kiev. Over there they confiscated his wristwatch, a gold Schaffhausen. They gave him a receipt. Sam kept the receipt. In September of 1941, when he was set free, he demanded the return of the watch. The response was that if he continued the demand, he would be jailed again. The advice of friends in the police was - do not ask. Sam had a pair of diamond earrings. The earrings he was able to keep and to hide through out the time of his stay in the prison and in the GULAG.

In the winter of 1941 -1942 a Polish Government was established in London. Packages of warm clothes sent from London reached the GULAG in Izma. We received sweaters. Sam got a pair of pants and a sweater. Sam had a dream to wear gray flannel pants. There was another Pole who got gray pants. Sam exchanged the slacks after a long and complicated bargaining.

One day, shortly after our arrival, Sam surprised us with a short visit of a young man from Lida. His name was Ben Bojarski.  He was 1 year younger than I. He was mobilized to the Soviet army in Lida. As a “Zapadnik” or from the previously Polish town, he was not fully trusted and therefore, he as well as others soldiers, were sent to Gulag. Several months later, as they were needed to fight on the front, they were sent from the Komi Republic directly to the front.  Ben survived the war and I met him in Krakow in 1946. He was married and left for Palestine. The meeting was like a dream. Even in the wildest of dreams one would not expect such a coincidence. Sam used to go to the railroad station to meet the trains transporting south the prisoners liberated as Poles. He also met two Ritter brothers, soccer players from Krakow. They met many years later when we visited Israel in 1957. Sam was the only one from his entire family to survive. Although he had two cousins, both were on his father’s side.  And because his father died of pneumonia when Sam was 4, his mother remarried. Since early childhood he had very little contact with his paternal cousin. Jack Seibel immigrated to New York before the war. The other cousin Mania survived in the Soviet Union. She was in Krakow in 1947. Mania left Poland and she went to France. She married a man from Krakow with named Baker. Mania had a daughter from a previous marriage and a son Avi. All of them were living in Israel. I do not know much about them. The latest I read in Jewish papers was that Avi is a chairman of the Israeli Jewish Congress. Sam was always searching for someone who knew his family. He did it to the very end. In Miami he would visit the lobbies of the small Hotels, always asking people about his mother, his sister Gusta and his half brother. He knew only that they were never in a ghetto or in a concentration camp. There was a possibility that they found shelter with a Polish family and were killed.  His girlfriend Hania did not survive either. He did not know it until he returned to Krakow in June 1946.

There was a group of prisoners or ex prisoners who kept together. Among them were prominent Communist party members .The party was created by Lenin, and distorted by Stalin. They were intellectuals who were in high government positions when arrested. The arrests were in waves. In 1934 there were the peasants so called “ kulak”, whose properties were bigger than the norm dictated by the new law. And the law was never stable, so one did not know what was legal at a particular time. There were generals who began their military carrier in the time of Bolshevik revolution. The military people were recalled back to service while we were there. And one of them, Gen. Rokossovski became the Marshall of  liberated Poland. As one of the important personalities told me, in the Soviet Union there are three kinds of citizens: ex prisoner, prisoner or future prisoner. The same gentleman suggested that I look for a husband among men who were ex prisoners.

The New Year’s Eve of 1941-42 was a special one. Father was happy that we are together. He decided to have a party in the clinic within the fenced-in zone. This way he could invite our friends, who were prisoners as well as free employees with a permit to enter the zone. The camp chef was bribed to provide food. Someone with special influence provided vodka. Sam brought the record player and records. Ahmed was there, and Valentine, Olga, the few other GULAG prisoners VIP. As I recall the mood was relaxed until the guards came with the order that such a mixed party was against the GULAG rules. Everyone had to leave. It was the only party that was attended by people from both sides of the fence. Of course, we met many times, but in small groups and quietly.

There were rumors that Sam and I were in love. At that time I denied it. I was not interested, although attracted to Sam. It was the time when Sam was sleeping around with Russian girls and he did not hide it. Somehow we became closer to each other, being together all day long. The summer of 42 came. Sam was having an affair with Tonya. This girl was full of life and an excellent folk dancer. The nights were white. Sunset lasted about half an hour. It was never dark. The air was fresh and crisp. The river came alive. There were plenty of mushrooms in the forest and an abundance of wild blueberries. I felt lonely. I decided to attract Sam’s attention.  I was a young woman ready for a relationship. I will never know what Sam had in mind at that time. He was flirting jokingly with Ella. And when he began to notice me as a female, Ella was not happy. One night after a dance in the club, Sam was standing with Tonya and others, I walked by and I gave him a long teasing look. He followed me home without one word being exchanged. At that particular night there was no one home. Father was with Olga, and Ella was working in the infirmary. We went home. There was kissing and necking. Sam was in total control. He considered me to be a young, naive girl, and also a lonely girl, not knowing exactly where I was heading. But since that night our relationship changed.  It became warm friendship, deep physical attraction, kissing and hugging. We talked more openly about our past life. Sam talked about his girlfriend Hania; I was talked about my life in France and about Bubi. When I compare my affection to each of them, it was different.  My feeling toward Sam were more mature and definite, while my thoughts about Bubi were romantic and rather girlish. It stayed like that until both of them were gone. Although, years after Sam passed away, I had an affair with Bubi, it was never satisfactory. It felt like an attempt to go back to the past and it was sweet and boring. Sexually it was a total waste. There was another lover in my life, a married man. We were attracted to each other. We would meet secretly and we promised each other that none of us should ever make it known. He is dead.  It was another loss of a good friend. Since that time I was not interested to meet anyone. I built a shield that would not allow any thoughts about a change in my life. My credo was and it is, I am alone, but I am not lonely. I learned to organize my life. “To be busy”. Thank God for my competitive nature. I always find something fascinating to do. Always trying to do better.

The summer passed. While it lasted we were going into the forest for mushrooms. We went to the river for a swim. The Izma River was wide and not deep .The water was not cold because of 23 hours of sunshine. I do not remember any rainy or cloudy days from mid June to the end of July.  Fall begins in August. It is very short The first snow falls in September. The days become rapidly shorter and the temperature drops to about minus 40 degrees Celsius which is very, very cold indeed. The snowfall stops in December. The air becomes icy. Frostbite is common. You don’t know what happened until someone tells you some exposed part of your body – cheeks, nose – is white.  One day in the early winter, when there was still daylight for about 2 hours, Sam had the wonderful idea to use the lunch hour to go skiing. Somehow he got three pairs of skies and Ella, Sam and I tried cross-country skiing on a path next to his cottage. It was fun. I was down more often than up. Then suddenly in the front of us a large wild turkey fell from a tree. They are totally different from the American wild turkey. Russian wild turkey is bigger and has a lot of feathers. We startled the poor turkey and it ran away. We never went skiing again. We went horse sled riding instead. The next settlement close by was Chibiu. A small town, a center of oil production, and inhabited by prisoners and ex prisoners.

The road to this settlement was very picturesque. It was along the solidly frozen river Izma.  The shore was high and steep. The road was narrow. I was always afraid that the sled would turn over. Our driver was a prisoner, who was there because of a conviction for a murder.  He was assigned to take father to places he had to visit in his position of a chief physician. The living conditions in Gulag, when compared with the free part of Soviet Union were not bad. While there was  a shortage of food every where, in the Gulag the food supply for the free personnel was adequate. There were acute shortages of milk, fish or meat. There were no vegetables or fruit. We were getting the food products limited by food stamps. Connections helped to go beyond the food stamps. And somehow Sam and father were able to get a special supply.

The front was now deep in the country. One evening there was a special alarm and a lot of commotion. The prisoners were not allowed out of the fenced-in zone. Several guards were mobilized and ordered to report to active duty. The rumor was that the Germans attacked from the North Sea. The tension lasted a day or two and than everything returned to normal.

Life was going on. Sam and I we were considered to be a couple.  We had dates in his cottage. Once, when we were there, half dressed, my father knocked on the door.  Father was angry and he ordered me to come home. Sam told my father that he cannot let him in and that we will be out in a moment. We got dressed and both of us followed father home. Father did not tell me anything. A few days later we were there again.  It was October 5, 1942. It was the date I consider to be our wedding. I stepped into this relationship fully aware that it may not be permanent. There were many reasons why this should not last. The war was going on. Sam had a girlfriend and he was hoping to return to her. I was aware that Bubi was waiting for me somewhere in France. Our age difference, our background made it even more unrealistic. The only thing for me was that I was in love and  it was I who initiated our affair. I wanted to be with Sam as long as the conditions would allow. I was a virgin. I told Sam not to feel that we should be together. I gave him a free hand while I was not able to imagine my life without him. It was also the time when Ella decided to search for our Medical School and to continue our education. I was reluctant, but Sam assured me that he would always be there when I come for a visit.

Previous | Next

Table of Contents

Lida District Home Page 

Jewishgen  | KehilaLinks

copyright 2002, Frances Dworecki M. D.
html by Irene Newhouse