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A Spectacle

Life Story Club Contributor

You know, I’m a survivor. A Holocaust survivor. I wrote my memory of a 7 years old, Jewish boy who survived the Holocaust, for one year being in the German occupation zone. That’s why I wrote, “The Childhood That Never Was.” That’s the name of my story, which I ask you to help me to publish. The story concerns Chechnya. The Germans occupied that area. They made these people kill Russians. They always historically hated Russians. And they started to kill. When the Russians kicked away Germans, Stalin, he kicked away 2 million people to Siberia, for treason. They were against the Russians.

I was at that time, 7 years old, standing in the streets of a small town. And I saw huge trucks filled with children, women, their belongings, and crying and sobbing. It was so horrible, because we did not understand that the entire people like Chechnya wanted to get answers to those people who betrayed. Anyway, they were innocent. Innocent! For us, especially for us, we saw cattle hanging around, abandoned villages, apartments and everything. And everything. That was my spectacle. I described it in my memories in “My Childhood That Never Was.”

Those in Chechnya were mountain Jews. If you look at us, we looked like local people. We did not look like Ashkenazy. Ashkenazy Jews are fair-skinned, with European faces. But we looked like local Caucasian people. But our beliefs were Judaism. Germans, they killed everybody. They checked up your origins. They made my mother undress me. Imagine? To undress me, the woman doctor touched me, my mother said. And when she touched me, they released us and gave us a German passport, allowing us to move within the German occupation zone. You know, Hitler organized a special command, to determine whether you belonged to this or other nationality. It was distributed among the German troops, around Russia, around Poland, Czechoslovakia, and they checked up the population to assign them to Jews or not to Jews. You know they have instruments. And the main instrument, as you understand, was circumcision. And when the doctor checked me, and Gestapo asked my mother to undress me. My mother said, “Hey my dear sonny, thank God we did not circumcise you!”

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