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baby pisetskaya

My father's parents Riva and Menachem and their children were in evacuation there. Uzbek people were very friendly with those who came to their towns during evacuation. I arrived in Tashkent in 1942.
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In Kuibyshev we changed trains and moved on. At one station my mother got off the train to get some food when our train moved to another track. We got so scared that my mother wouldn't find us when the train moved back and all ended well. Aunt Luba's mother-in-law died on the way. She was old and traveling was too much for her. We reached Maaly station in Alma-Ata region, Kazakhstan. Representatives of authorities inspected the train to identify the wounded or ill passengers. I and a distant relative of ours were taken on a truck to a hospital in Sarkand on the border with China. I saw Kazakh people, mountains topped with snow, beautiful landscapes and a donkey for the first time in my life. My mother, sister and other relatives were taken to a kolkhoz [20] in the village of Antonovka. My mother was very worried that I was in a different place, but when I got better I was released from hospital and joined my family. My mother and other relatives did miscellaneous work in the kolkhoz. Luba's husband Michael was a secretary at the village council. Besides, he was responsible for aryk wells. When I came to Antonovka I was given two bulls and a wagon to transport kok-sagyz [a plant] - raw material for rubber manufacturing. We got lodging in a house and the local population treated us nicely, but I could hardly bear the local climate and was allergic to water.
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I had got a little better by then and my mother and aunts began to prepare for evacuation. There were freight carriages for transportation of horses on the railroad spur. Our neighbors helped us to clean up all manure from one carriage. I was taken there on stretches and my mother, my sister Shelia, Aunt Luba, her husband and his mother, Aunt Rachil and her children also got into this carriage. We reached Kuibyshev [present-day Samara]. The trip was long and exhausting. There were air raids and many carriages burnt down.
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When the Great Patriotic War began my grandparents evacuated to Tashkent with their daughters, daughters-in-law and grandchildren.
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When the Great Patriotic War began Luba and her family evacuated to the village of Antonovka, Sarkansk district in Kazakhstan. Luba's mother-in-law died on the way to evacuation.
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During the war they evacuated to Tashkent where Rachil's husband died of tuberculosis in 1942.
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His wife Genia and their daughter Asia, born in 1938, evacuated, but I don't know where they were in evacuation.
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During the Great Patriotic War David, his wife and children evacuated to Tashkent where they survived the war. David Kalika's family perished in Uman. When the Germans came to Uman they lined up all Jews in a column headed by Lusik Brozer, the retarded son of the pharmacist, who carried a red flag. The Germans forced David's brother Samuel, a Jewish actor, to sing a song and the Jews marched to the spot where they were shot. They were killed near the railway station. We got to know this from our neighbors in the 1960s.
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During the Great Patriotic War they were all evacuated to Tashkent [today Uzbekistan]. Uncle Yakov was released from military service since the thumb of his right hand was deformed.
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Jankiel Kulawiec

When they found out I was from Poland they sent me to Uzbekistan, to a mine.

In Uzbekistan I was sent to a tungsten mine. I worked as a miner, down in the mine, underground. The work was hard and the place isolated. A holed up world. There were a few Jews there too, a few dozen of them, mostly exiles from Poland. I got friendly with a few - I still remember the names: Epstain, Grossman. I spent nearly five years in that mine - when I arrived it was August or September 1941, and by the time I left it was June 1946.

At first we lived in a huge shack - the whole group of scores of men, mostly Jews. The sanitary conditions were negligible. Not far away there was a stream, and that was our source of water. And later, when I met my wife, we just lived in a mud hut. There was no way of building anything else more civilized.
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