Thursday, April 23, 2009

Do You Know Babi Yar?

Our mother, two children, and we go in train and go to Siberia. First, we go to Ural. Do you know Ural? It is mountain in Soviet Union between Siberia and European part of Soviet Union. Ural very big mountain and we go to small, small town and she work factory, that made grenade for soldiers. We live very badly and one time I look in window and saw wolves walking under our house, and very cold because wood, we don’t have wood. Sometimes factory give his employees wood, sometimes not, and we sit [wraps arms around himself] and sit in room, brrrr, and put on all that was in room. I remember because I was small, because it is very big impression and when we go, my brother, older than me five years, and when we go in train, Germany planes begin to bomb-throw and train stop and all people run and our mother lost us and I began to cry but she sit in last wagon after bomb and I cried two hours. Without mother at three years, it is impossible because I not remember father, only mother and my mother was very beautiful, very beautiful and she died young. Cancer. And my grandfather don’t wish go to Siberia. He said, “Impossible!” He remember First World War and Germany army very nice relate to Jewish people—“No! Impossible!” and with his sister, he stayed in our room. We had not apartment, only one room in big apartment in this home where we lived. ...During Second War, my grandfather live with his sister in our room, but in our home was a man—in Russia every house or two houses was man or woman who clean street and around buildings and he said to Germany that in house live two Jewish people and they require him and he take them with machine gun and go into Babi Yar. Do you know Babi Yar? It is place—all old people know this place because in Kiev there is very big gap between small mountains, very big gap, and 200 people go to here and shooting. Yes. This man, after war, was caught, judged him, and he received 25 years because he was crime and he—but he sit in prison 22 years because 1967 was very big holiday for Soviet Union. Fifty years Soviet Union, and release him and he return, and my mother ask him, “Why you our father go to Babi Yar because we always help you and your family?” “If I not take them to Babi Yar, other take them but Germany soldiers kill me.” It is empty phrase.

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