Photo taken in:MinskYear when photo was taken:1940Country name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Belarus
This is my friend Pinia Goldberg, the first on the right, with two of his friends. He and I escaped from Poland occupied by Germans to the Soviet Union. This photo was taken in Minsk in 1940. He sent it to me to demonstrate how good his life was. This is the last memory I have of my friend. I remember Pinia Goldberg, my friend. His father was a tailor. He made clothes for villagers. His family was very poor and Pinia had as strong faith in the Soviet Union as I did. However, I was more handsome and active and girls liked me more. Pinia's sister, a dressmaker, was married to a barber. They had children. Their family was poor. On 1st September 1939 World War II began. On the same day our town was bombed. My mother said that I had to get away. My friends and I decided to leave. We formed a group of 20-30 people and started moving to the east. We were planning to cross the Bug River to get to the Soviet Union. I left home on 23rd October 1939. Finally we reached Brest. We didn't have anything with us. We were hungry and went to get free food provided by the local military. I met my friend Pinia who had got there before us. I was very happy to see him. We decided to stay together. About 25 of us moved on by truck. In the evening we arrived at 'Mayak' kolkhoz. We came to the cultural center of the village. It was 7th November [October Revolution Day] and there was a celebration in the center and an optimistic Jewish man was making a speech in front of villagers. His speech was interrupted and we were distributed to the houses of collective farmers. I spoke some Russian that I had picked up back in Poland. My friend and his sister were accommodated in a house of a poor villager while I got accommodation in the house of the wealthiest one. My friends didn't have enough food, they decided to move on. Pinia, his sister and her family also left. I hoped to see my friend Pinia who used to write me from Minsk, but I didn't find him. I also looked for him after the war, writing to various agencies, but I didn't get any information and never found out what happened to him or his sister.