The day before deportation

Another narrator from Do Not Avenge Us, the book in process of translation for Reflection Publishing, is Teodosia Cosmin. This story is of the day before deportation. It was the year of 1949, after the great famine orchestrated by the Bolsheviks to force people join the kolkhoz. Teodosia was 11 years old. Her father had been arrested before the famine and taken to Siberia. The family knew nothing of him. Teodosia lost one sister and one brother to hunger. She remembers how, before dying, her sister Ilenuta used to say, “Mamica, if God brought taticu home, he would bring us two loaves of bread and two pretzels!”

Things then got better, but immediately after the famine came another wave of deportations:

1949 seemed to be a good year. But on July 6 we were deported. The day before deportation we had people for hoeing.  During those times, people helped one another, for it was difficult for a handful of women, as we were, to work the land by ourselves.
On July 5, 1949, it was our turn to hoe the land—corn, sunflower… what we had. Mamica was a strong character. Regardless of how difficult it was, she knew how to get to the end of things and to resist during difficult times. After they finished hoeing, mamica told to the people who helped her:
“Let us have a dance!”
They held each other by hands, sang, and danced. In the evening, they came home. On that day, I played like a fool. You can see it was not a good sign. I played with a girl in the neighborhood all day long. We played, wrestled, and laughed all the time. Especially me, I was laughing with tears. She laughed as well. Then she stopped, looked at me, and said:
“Teodosia, what’s up with you?”
“I don’t know, but I want to laugh, to jump!”
It was not a good sign.
In the evening, when mamica came from hoeing, she put all those people to the table, to have dinner. By then, I was sad, very sad. It was as if I was taken some other place by my own thoughts. I could hear what they were saying, but I could not be attentive. I had a pain on my soul. Someone even noticed this and said:
“Look at this child how sad she is! What may be the problem?”
Mamica said:
“Did you see how many trucks were on the road today? Why so many trucks?”
Someone said:
“Don’t you worry; the trucks have their business.”
Someone else said:
“I hope we don’t have another war!”
These trucks were going here and there; they were assigned on villages and districts, to pick up the deportees.
The people remained at our place for a long time. After dinner, they talked. You know how it is in the villages: they say jokes, talk about things…  By now it was very late. One of them even said:
“Look how long we stay at your place today! As if we did not meet again tomorrow!”
Mamica said:

“Who knows? It is a long time until tomorrow…”
 
That night–it was always during the night, so the terror would be even stronger–the Soviet soldiers came and loaded them in trucks. It was the beginning of the long road to Siberia.
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About Tavi's Corner

Blogging on ancient philosophy, communist persecution in Romania (including deportation to Siberia), and Orthodox Christianity. I've translated books from Romanian to English, and I also write about them from time to time.
This entry was posted in Bessarabia, Deportations to Siberia. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The day before deportation

  1. Pingback: Tales of beauty and love from the darkness of the Siberian Gulag | Tavi's Corner

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