Wednesday, March 30, 2016



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It hurt. The wind cut through the open plaza with the monuments to the defendants of the Brest Fortress. The fortress was attacked in the  first minutes of the World War II. People there didn't have a chance, but they resisted the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe for a week, burrowing into the stones of the Fortress, starving, fighting, until they couldn't resist the overwhelming odds anymore. 
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Brest Fortress devastated
            by the German attack

The cold was unyielding. What we thought, what we felt didn't matter. So many dead. Were we any better off then them? My heart was breaking.  
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Talking to me, the Dean of the Moscow Journalist Department, where I applied, couldn't be clearer: "We have enough people of "your kind"!" My "kind" were the Jews in Russia. All those dead in the WWII, and a lot of people thought, there were still too many of us on this Earth. It hurt.  
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           VIENNA, AUSTRIA 

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I'm ashamed to say this, but I had no desire to see Vienna. Any other time I'd be oohing and aahing with everybody else. The light snow sprinkled streets that still remembered Mozart and Schubert and Freud. People seemed so carefree and friendly, it didn't seem possible. The grocery store, where an old Ukrainian emigre brought us,  was filled with the goods that had nothing in common with the Soviet reality we left a couple of days ago. It was a dream, it had to be! It was a strange dream. I just didn't feel a part of it yet. Now I wish, I saw it all:  the architecture of the buildings and the plazas that boggles the mindthe museums, the concerts and the street fairs to make one's heart dance and sing. I didn't. But one day I will!

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