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Chapter 10 – From Arkhangelsk to Kutaisi

From Arkhangelsk to Kutaisi

 “Who knows the tears that have yet to be shed, the storms that have yet to strike?”

“”Mishut ba-Merhakim” (Back from the Distance)


 Our stay in Arkhangelsk was, as mentioned, not easy. I varied the daily routine by means of all sorts of activities with my sisters and other boys whom I met. I have already described Ita’s role, but I must reiterate and emphasize that in our long stay in this godforsaken location, she truly outdid herself and inspired admiration. She continued to be both mother and sister to us, and none of us questioned her position. She took us under her wing and, in this freezing cold, showered us with her love

and warmth.

Throughout the time we lived here, the trains never ceased arriving, bringing with them a stream of refugees, with news and updates. From them we heard about the concentration camps and the mass murders carried out by the Nazis. We had known about the atrocities and had even witnessed some ourselves, but not one of us could have guessed the extent of the slaughter in these camps. Later we learned that in Treblinka itself, the Nazis had cremated 900,000 Jews! The human mind cannot fathom such numbers.

Despite the change on the battlefield in winter 1942, which signaled the end of Germany’s victories and rapid advance, the Nazi extermination machinery continued to operate at full steam in the occupied areas, as we later heard.

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