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 Category:  Biographical Fiction
  Posted: October 20, 2020      Views: 49

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Retired property insurance underwriter
Have too many cats. kind and sweet husband
HS in 1964
graduated from college in 1999 with a BS degree. (no it did not take me 30 years to get through college) I went 7 years in night school.

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boy returns to America from Russia
"Moishe/Moses comes home" by Mary Vigasin

He was cold and hungry. He had eaten a few of the crackers. His mother warned him to conserve the food in the small basket she gave him. She told him to eat sparingly each day, he had a long journey to the United States.

Moishe or Moses was sitting alone in the port city of Hamburg, Germany waiting to board the ship to America. His mother gave Moses specific instructions not to draw attention to himself. When leaving Russia, she had on his passport Moishe, the Russian translation of his name rather than his American name, Moses. It was 1935 and Hitler was just coming to power. His mother, Jenny had heard stories of the treatment of Jews in Germany, and she cautioned him to be careful and to use his Russian name.

When Jenny put him on the bus to Hamburg, Moses remembers her hands were rough as she put them on both his cheeks. She then kissed him with tears in her eyes, she knew she would never see her son again. He wrote to Jenny, but the letters would return unopened, and with WWII intervening in Russia, he lost track of her.

His mother, Jenny, a tiny woman with jet black hair was born in Russia and immigrated to the US. Her first husband died suddenly, and she was left a widow with the two boys. She then quickly remarried and later divorced an abusive husband.

In 1925 she returned to Russia and brought four-year-old Moses and six-year-old Harry with her.

A letter from her cousin in Russia invited her to return. The cousin gave a rosy picture of life in Russia as Lenin had died and life was improving in Russia under Stalin. It turned out that the cousin's letter was a little too optimistic, and Jenny worked long factory hours. The Russian Government at the time had a Jekyll and Hyde treatment of the Jewish population. Many of the pogroms were attacked and Yiddish forbidden, yet many in the Red Army were Jews themselves where anti-Semitism was forbidden.

It was when her son Harry drowned, and life was getting more difficult that she then decided to leave Russia once more and immigrate again to the US. However, her ex-husband declined to sponsor her to come to the US but was willing to send for Moses.

Moses was an American born, thus a citizen and the ex-husband could put the 14-year-old Moses to work. He was not treated as a stepson but as a laborer hauling trash in his stepfather's business.

After about a year, a lady appeared at his stepfather's door. She was a slender woman only five feet tall with a thick Russian accent. It was his Aunt Dora, his late father's sister who had gotten word of Moses's plight. Pointing her finger at the stepfather and yelling at him in both Russian and English for mistreating Moses, she demanded that Moses come to live with her immediately.

It took 50 years before Moses found out what happened to his mother Jenny. A cousin having just arrived from Russia told him of his mother's fate.

Jenny had died in 1946 after being struck by a car.


Author Notes
This is actually a true story. Moses was my father-in-law. However, Moses was tight lipped about his years in Russia and his story was told to my husband and myself by his wife and part by his Aunt Dora who I only met once.
However, with them all gone, I could not get a refresher course on the story and my husband and I had to piece the story together from our collective memory. So having to fill in details, I am keeping this as fiction.
Moishe is a Hebrew and Yiddish variant transcription of the name Moses
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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