European Memories

of the Gulag


“The Communists saved our lives”

“My grandmothers and grandfathers stayed behind in Riga. They were all murdered in the ghetto.

You know, I want to stress the fact that we stayed alive thanks to the Communists. Because if the Communists hadn’t deported us, we would have died in the ghetto. My father would never have left, because my mother was very ill and they were very close; he would never have left her. That’s why the Communists saved our lives!


That’s exactly it. If we hadn’t been deported, we’d have stayed in Riga during the war and we’d have been killed in the ghetto. That’s one of life’s paradoxes. Really. There were no other possibilities. Otherwise my parents wouldn’t have left. All the others stayed. My parents thought as I do, of course. There’s nothing else to be said, that’s how it was! Because in Riga, all the others were killed, with a few exceptions.”