"An orphan child is only a bitter tear, a bird without wings"

I wrote this story so that people know what communism was, what it brought, especially to us, Bessarabians. Even today there are people who say that it brought much good, and for this good there had to be sacrifices… But what is the good done by communism, socialism? What did it bring? And where is it now, if it was built on sacrifices? Let’s say that we were sacrificed and sixty other millions together with us, for this is what the statistics say, that the Soviet Union sacrificed sixty million lives. What did they do with it? What did they accomplish? Can you build anything on terror? Can you build on bones and blood?!…

This is how Satan entered Lenin, and he began to ruin all harmony. Before, man was free: if you wanted to work, to have things, then you worked and had what you needed; if you did not want to have much, you were in the middle; if you wanted nothing at all, the others helped you, gave you alms. You did not have authority and honor in the village, but you did not die of hunger. You were free and did things according to your conscience. But the Bolsheviks brought terror, murder, and robbery, and this is how freedom died.

How many lives did the “humanitarian” Bolshevism destroyed! The Russians themselves recognize this now when they write about what they did, what they lived, and what they witnessed. They were shocked as well. You, an innocent man, whether old or child, to suffer like this, for twenty years in Siberia? For what? If you know why you suffer, you don’t get upset; if I murdered someone intentionally, then they must punish me! But if you did not do anything, why punish you? So many young people taken to mines in Siberia! They never returned from there! For what ideal?…

A political candidate said recently at “Vocea Basarabiei”[1] that we should not condemn communism and that those deported were taken there justly, because they deserved it!… What did my bunica, Sofia, deserve? Bunelul at least did something: he denounced that Gipsy man that he burned the icons and that he robbed the Romanians… But what did bunica do? She did not even come out of the house! What did my brother and I do? What did dad do, to be condemned to such torments? If we came back, this is a great miracle, and this is only because bunica prayed very much. We resisted with the Spirit of the Lord, purely and simply, and we came back for her prayers. But how many have never returned?!…

If I returned, I was no longer like before. Everything I saw and suffered in the seven years of Siberia is disastrous and irreparable. They truly maimed my tender soul; Satan implanted in me a hatred for my whole life, and I can never forgive him.

If I regret anything out all the things that I went through, I regret my childhood. The other things, no—this is how man must go through life and is allowed by God, so that he is purified of sins. But I regret that wretched childhood! Thinking how my children grew up now and how I was back then, it seems as day and night! I cannot even believe how much I spoiled my boys, letting them sleep more in the morning, eat a better piece of meal; I did not eat to give it to them. Who behaved this way with me? Or how I caressed them, how I cared for them as fast as possible, how I took them to the hospital… Who did anything like this with me?…

Not only at the orphanage, in Siberia, but even home, with the relatives, when I came back. The Bolsheviks embittered people here as well. I got so sick when I was with my uncles that I lost my conscience, but nobody took me to the hospital or gave me medicine. My aunt never caressed me or asked me what was hurting. No; if I had days to live, fine, if not, no! I do not condemn her and I do not hate her. God forgive her; I understood all things later. When could she ask me, if there were so many things to do? Work on the field, give the rate for the kolkhoz, build a house…

You can imagine it, since I did not even have time to talk in details with my boys in the house, to tell them how I lived in Siberia. Only after I wrote the book, my boy put his hands on his head:
“How, mom, and you were quiet all this time?!”

“But when tell you, my dear boy?…”

Sometimes when they were little and wanted a story before bed, I was telling them about wolves, about the forest, but they thought it was a story tale, not the truth.

This is how our communication was because Soviet life was like this: you woke up early morning, took the child to the kindergarten, from there you ran to work, came home in the evening to make some food, to bring the child back, wash him, put him to bed, and then start over the next day. When could I tell them?!…

This is how it was with me, with my childhood… There were thousands like me, tormented and bitten, because an orphan child is only a bitter tear, an unfulfilled desire, a bird without wings…

This is why I pray to God for all my people and for the whole nation to turn His face toward us, in Bessarabia, to deliver us from this terrible Bolshevik plague, so that our children would no longer suffer, but to be again as it was before, when people lived as they learned from the old, beautifully and peacefully…

[1]The Voice of Bessarabia—a radio station in Chisinau.

Deportation to Siberia: "food for the wolves"

This is another story of deportation from Do Not Avenge Us. I have mentioned Margareta Cemârtan-Spânu’s stories before. She wrote the story with the apple with the scent from home. Here, she remembers the moment when the Bolsheviks came to their house and took them to deport them to Siberia, to be “food for the wolves.” Bunica, the grandmother, appears in the story with the apple with the scent from home as well.

Deportation took place on July 6. It was around noon, and we were all working outside. I was sweeping the yard, and dad was mounting some hay with Emil. All of a sudden, we heard a rumble, and we saw a big car coming toward us. It stopped at the gate, and four soldiers and the president of the village’s Soviet came out of it. They commanded dad to take a few things and get in the car with us.

Dad froze because he did not expect this. Then he began to oppose them:

“Why do you take me? Where do you take me? What did I do to you?!…”

And the activist told him:

“You deserve it! I asked you to be a teacher at school, why didn’t you want to do it? Now you’ll teach the wolves in the forest!”

Indeed, the Bolsheviks had asked dad to be a teacher in the village. But how could you teach Antichrist to children? Even bunica was against it: “What can you teach the children, if these people burn the icons and say that God does not exist!?”…

In the meantime, neighbors gathered to the fence and watched, but they did not say anything because they were afraid. If the Bolsheviks had the gun on the hip, could you do or say anything? They had put fear into people, and people feared even their own shadows. Whatever the activists said, they did, and poor people lived like on needles!

However, a woman came close to me and told me:

“Run! Go to my yard! They will not look for you! Go to the cellar, hide!”

I was six years old. I looked at her but did not understand anything: why should I run, why should I be without a dad, a brother, with a stranger? And I did well that I did not run! If I ran, what? Wasn’t I remaining a stranger? And who needs a stranger as a child? But now, whatever we suffered, we suffered together, and that’s it!

So those soldiers were yelling at us:

“Come, faster, faster, come, up, up!”

The people from the fence started to yell at dad:

“Neculai, don’t sit, take clothes! They take you to the glacier, take some warm clothes, take for the children!”

People already knew what Siberia meant.

Dad went in the house, took a suitcase with his groom suit, the shirt, some clothes for us, tossed it in the car, and then went back. We were clinging on his pants and kept going after him crying. He took two other blankets, an old and a new one, and came out with them under his armpit. Then, Grisha the Gipsy, who had come with the soldiers, snatched the new blanket, which had a beautiful glow, and told my dad:

“You don’t need it! We take you as food for the wolves, and you don’t need to be warm there!”

My poor dad began to cry, and we were clinging to his pants, crying as well. My brother could already understand everything because he was older, but I could not understand what was happening; I was crying because of his crying.

Dad looked at the house and the garden crying, but that one, Grisha the Gipsy, did not give him any moment of peace:

“Come, come, faster, come, get up!”

The people began to shout:

“But he hasn’t taken anything! These children are naked!”

Since it was summer, we were barefoot; I was in a small dress, and my brother in a little shirt and shorts.

They, nothing:

“Up, up, come, come! We’ve already lost time with you! Up!”


Then, they helped bunica in the car. She was not crying like dad; she was not crying at all. She was peaceful, calm. When she was in the car—I seem to see her right now—she turned toward people, like a statue, she made a cross in the air, and she said: “Good people, if I harmed you in any way, forgive me!”

All the others were crying, all the relatives, dad, us, but not her! She was calm, peaceful. Even now, when I tell the story, I feel like crying, but not her. She did not cry at all! I was so amazed…

Then, all of a sudden, she told the girl:

“Masha, run to the kitchen and bring me the small icon with the Mother of the Lord! It is hidden in a corner, behind the cardboard!”

She kept it hidden because the Bolsheviks had destroyed everything.

Tanti (aunt) Maria ran fast, found it, and brought it to her. Bunica kissed it, made the sign of the cross one more time, and said:

“God with us!”