¡Ay Carmela!

 Spain, 1938, International Brigades Hospital, left, my father, born in Soroca, Bessarabia, then part of the Russian Empire, in February 1913, whose right arm was amputated live, without anesthesia, during the battle on the river Ebro, the fiercest battle in an atrociuos war. Next to him, my mother., Hermina Marcusohn, born in Botosani in 1915, a Medical School student in Bucharest and nurse at the Vic hospital, in front, my mother’s closest friend Sanda Sauvard, later to be deported to Auschwitz and Ravensbruck. At the right, Maurice Sauvard, a French worker from Toulouse, wounded in the same battle. Sanda (Sara) and Maurice got married soon thereafter. They both fought in the maquis. He died in 1946. She returned to Romania, never got remarried. Growing up in an atheistic Jewish family, I didn’t have godparents. But, vicariously, she was my godmother.

Whenever I needed something, money, advice, psychological support etc, I knew aunt Sanda was there for me. On her right arm I first saw the tatoo number. The head of Vic hospital was doctor Wilhelm Glaser. His daughter, Erica, was later adopted by Noel Field. Arrested in East Berlin, she was sentenced to death, then deported to the Gulag.We visited Vic, Marius and me, in June 2015. No one remembers that, once upon a time, this was a vibrantly cosmopolitan place, with hundreds of people speaking all the languages of the earth. Memory for me, perhaps, post-memory for Marius. From the Spanish Civil war to the Cold War. Mark Kramer, I did not forget about my reviews for JCWS, they will arrive soon

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