Uncle Berl

This is a photograph of uncle Berl, one of the brothers of my wife's mother. It was taken during his military service. I know from my wife that he fell ill during his military service and he died very young. He had 5 children, and his wife and children went to Bessarabia in 1940, after which we lost track of them. I believe the photograph was taken around 1920-1930.

Bombing runs were frequent, so that we mostly stayed in underground cellars. In the morning, at daybreak, when we went out of those cellars and saw that we were still alive and our property intact, we were pleased that we escaped with our lives. We always heard tell that a bomb had fallen at Podul de Fier [Iron Bridge], in the Pacurari neighborhood, near the Hala [neighborhoods in Iasi], at the gas depot, and that this or that person had died. Then, after 9 o'clock [in the morning], you could go out of the house, Jews weren't allowed to go to the market whenever they wanted. We went to the bakery with the bread ration book and received our ration. You couldn't buy as much bread as you wanted or as much as you needed. Nobody knew what the following day had in store. And this didn't last for a day, it lasted for so many years. We lived with death beside us, as they say. In addition to that, there was a lot of filth.