Trafika Europe 12 - French Bon-Bons

A Souvenir from New York

HAIM You know, Mr. Baskin, before we came to America my name was Khariton. My wife calls me Harik. Only when my American documents were processed did I get my old name back, the name my father gave me. But if you call me “Chaim” now, I won’t respond, I’m not used to it yet. So that’s how it happened. I spent the war years at my mother’s--I mean Akulina, the woman who saved me from the ghetto. She was the one who named me Khariton: she wanted the sound of my new name to resemble my old one. Everyone in the village thought I was her son-- we lived on a farm, people’s houses were far apart; people didn’t know much about each other, besides Akulina lived most of the time in Krasnopole, so the villagers thought of her as a city woman. No one from my family came back after the war, so I stayed at Akulina’s. Her husband Stepan also did not come back from the war, which is why she had to raise all five of us alone. Not an easy life we had, but a friendly one. All us children grew up and studied well. I was so little when I lost everyone, I don’t even remember my father’s face. Akulina, my mother, told me a lot about them--about my dad and my mom and my brothers. I learned about them all from her. When it was time for me to get a passport, Akulina said: “Son, let them put you on record as a Jew. You shouldn’t


Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online