Bluma K. – Svencionys, Lithuania

You have made me very happy with your letter! What I know of you, of your warmth toward me, the main thing is that you are alive and well, and didn’t forget me!!! This means very much to me! And I am infinitely glad!

What can I tell you about myself? I am on my feet, I write this way for I already carry many years, I live alone. Naturally, I don’t work, I receive a pension and God sent me many friends. Sometimes they even print my articles in Jewish papers: in the French journal “Yiddish Heftn,” which is a monthly. I receive the “Forward” and “Algemeiner Zhurnal” from America. And in addition your letters!

This enriches my life, which was very difficult. As I already wrote to you, without being guilty I like millions of other Soviet people was in the Gulag for 10 years, and then an additional 2 years in Kolyma [Prison Camp]

You ask me to write about my days in the Kolyma Gulag—the prison. Many have already written about this, better than I can. Also I have written about this for the “Jerusalem Almanac.” If they print it, I will send it to you! I was in the camp for 10 years and in addition, two more years. Our daughter in 1937 was 1 year and 2 months old. They tore her from my arms and her cry “Mama” I heard all of my years in camp. I write this and think that I am making a mistake to make you feel sad, but you asked. My daughter was in the orphanage for “Children of the Enemies of the People” for 13 years.

Oh yes, and you ask me to write about our days at Kolyma. Many have written better. However, I will fulfill your request and write about one typical day. We were living in the barracks, on “bunks” made of boards. We got up at five in the morning, ate watery soup, 200 grams of bread per person, and went into the forest, the taiga where no human being had ever walked before. We had to stockpile according to the quota 10-12 cubic meters of wood. The temperature was minus 50 degrees or lower. We had to fell 20 or more trees, saw them up, and stack them in piles 2 meters higher than ourselves. After we fulfilled the quota we returned [walked] to the camp about 6-7 kilometers away. There we had supper, they consider us so valuable!! And when we walk to the camp, we are guarded with rifles. My soul hurts at the thought that when I write to you about this I will distress you. However I survived it and have lived to old age.

My dear ones, I feel that I distress you with my letter! I beg your forgiveness, and wish for the entire world that such terrible things will never be repeated!

Be well, fortunate and happy. I always await news from you.

I embrace you and all your dear ones with tender, good feelings!!!

Your Bluma

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