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[Page 295]

A Letter from a Brichenyer

Translated by Pamela Russ

Donated by Roberta Jaffer

(An excerpt from a letter of a native Brichenyer, who visited her city on September 7, 1957, 18 years after she had left it)

… The town of Bricheni alone. If they would drop you by chance in an air balloon onto Bricheni territory, you would get lost and would not figure that this was Bricheni; time alters mountains into valleys, and oceans into dry land. How does a small town such as this do with time? … We are such people of leisure, who gaze royally upon world events, but upon our birthplace, we gaze through lenses of children's fantasies…

 

A Visit to Bricheni – 1961

… Some time ago, in the [Hebrew] month of Elul, on the traditional trip to the burial place of my parents, I decided to visit the city.

I went across the long main street – Pocztowka, turned right to Bolniczne, went across to Rymkowieczer and Bukowina Streets; then returned from there through Torhowycze onto Lypkona Street.

I did not meet even one acquaintance or Brichenyer for this entire, long route.

Only here, from afar, did I see a man who was walking around, and only as I got closer did he recognize me: It was a man who had served years ago as an official in the Bricheni post office.

In Bricheni, there live only a few former Bricheni Jews. The majority of the residents are newcomers, and many gypsies.

The town itself is demolished and broken down, completely destroyed …

[Page 295]

… and many empty places where there were once houses and other buildings, a dead stillness reigns, creating a shudder.

Whoever knew Bricheni that once was, or those who were physically connected to it, better that he remember Bricheni of that time. Bricheni of today – is not the Bricheni that once was.

A Brichenyer

 

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