I know i've been largely absent in these parts, but felt like I should share this. For those of you who don't know, Jon is my dad. And that's basically our story.
Today is March 5, 2013. By middle of the day, I couldn’t resist the temptation and asked my wife whether there was any significance in this date. She thought for a moment and then said that she could not remember anything, so she assumed that there was nothing worth remembering…
It all depends.
60 years ago today the Father of Peoples Joseph Stalin died.
I was 2 years old, so no recollection of the event. My mom told me that she was crying. Actually, the whole huge country was crying. People were scared. They were afraid that something very bad would be happening to them, to the country…
It is hard to understand how the People devastated by terror, were so loyal and devoted to the tyrant, but hey, don’t dogs lick the beating hand? And don't beaten children hug their abusers?
Did Stalin's death have anything to do with me?
It did. It did big time.
60 years ago like so many other Jews in the Soviet Union, we were waiting for the exile to Siberia. My parents were fired a few days before… We had suitcases (1 small suitcase per person) ready and were waiting for the order to border a special train. My dad, my mom, my 9-year old brother and me…
Now, many years later I know that Stalin's order was that only 20% of all Jews sent to Birobidjan in Russian Far East were supposed to make it there alive, and the rest of them were to be stopped in the remote areas on their long journey through Siberia and shot by soldiers.
Would we have made it?
What I love about it is that Olga couldn’t even remember the date… It is no longer significant. It is no longer a date that your life is hinging upon…
And this is the best thing that could happen.
60 years ago nobody could even dream about it. That their lives are their lives, and they are not worthless pawns in the hand of a tyrant.
It was ages ago… it was just yesterday.
I can afford not remembering it now... but I do.
I am celebrating his death...
Photo by snowlepard via Flickr.com