Alexander Grin

Alexander Grin

This is me, Alexandr Grin, after a recent successful coronary artery bypass grafting.

This photograph was taken by my wife Galina Grin,
nee Ghermanson in Eilat in Israel in 1995.

When Israel was established in 1948, I was in the army and didn’t know anything about it. Then, when I returned home, I didn’t pay attention to this issue. I didn’t care about things like any other common person in the Soviet Union. Now I think different about Israel. I had a heart surgery in Israel.

In 1992 I had a heart attack that I overcame, but it resulted in stenocardia. I had a medical examination and they said I needed surgery.

I asked the director of this clinic where he would advise me to have surgery - in our country or abroad -and he said that he was a good surgeon but had nothing for post surgery treatment.

Therefore, he concluded, if I had a chance of having it in Israel, I should go there. I had friends in Israel. I stayed with them for some time and got to know more about the country. Life there was wonderful in 1993 or 1994.

My friends told me that I had to obtain the citizenship and medical insurance in Israel or the surgery would cost me about USD 25,000. I wrote an application, but it turned out that it was not specified in my birth certificate that I was a Jew. They didn't indicate it at that time.

A year later I returned to Israel and they declared that they didn't believe my new birth certificate and that I could throw it away. They knew that for a small bribe one could become a Jew immediately in Russia.

They asked for my old certificate which didn't say that I was a Jew, but had my mother's name, Raisa Aronovna, and my father's name, Moisey Filipovich, and they processed all necessary documents for me.

I obtained mandatory medical insurance from the Ministry of Absorption. I returned to Moscow and a year later went to Israel with Galina.

I had all medical examinations and they sent me to the American-Israeli cardiologic clinic. It was a nice clinic, but since I wanted to expedite the surgery and go back to Moscow, and also wanted a Russian speaking professor from Russia to do the surgery I had to pay an additional USD 2,000.

In May I had coronary artery grafting and could go home a short time later.

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