Later I learned about the programme, the programme was for those under 60 years old and I was under 60 at that time. So I left.
Weren’t you afraid?
Of what? We were a group of people.
And what did you do there?
I worked for the army during the month. I was wearing their uniform. I was wearing Israeli uniform. We had a full programme. At Saturday evenings they took us somewhere. If somebody had relatives there they went the relatives, if somebody hadn’t we stayed in the hotel. We were… How is it called…, we set up different medicines. First aid kits. So I …, our supervisor was such a Jew that … well, she was from Mossad. So she was from there, she was our lead. She checked these first aid kits. She liked me very much! I was very strict, accurate and quick. I washed all the floors in the laboratory, all tables, I cleaned everything. Even the toilet, because I didn’t like what they had there. And freshened the air to make the scent better, and cleaned the windows. I did that all, and she could not speak Russian, but do you know what she told me. She wasn’t married. He told me, she showed me the place where they gave her an injection; they put in a special pipe, and gave an injection so that they didn’t have appetence to a man. This is what she told me. And then, when we were to leave … I was given a letter of recognition, yes they gave me it, those who led the programme, and when we were leaving, she came into the bus, she didn’t let the bus to depart, she stood like this, came into the bus, found me, spoke to me in Hebrew, I couldn’t understand a word. But she kissed me, gave me her address to let me come any time I would be there. And drove away. She was such a good woman. Such a good woman. I like such people. So, in general, I would … Well, I spent seven months in that Israel, I drudged so much in that Israel. So I left for that Israel, silly woman, again I took boots, it was winter, I put them into the jupe. I took such a shabby bag, well. And my different rags. And left for Israel. Well, we came there, I came out and it was very warm, the people were wearing beautiful uniforms, people are nice, the bus approached and took us somewhere. And! And I came into blossom among all those Jews, nobody would say an ugly word, all around are friends. So I spent some time there, I liked everything being in the army, even the food, I liked some food, there was something I didn’t like, something was not my cup of tea, but I could already eat it. Everything Jewish was good. Then I went away, the army was over, all the people were going home. There were some women from Moscow, from Minsk, from Grodno. I couldn’t make up my mind to that I had spent 360 dollars and I had to leave, I wanted to recover the money. I thought to find a job in Israel, I would recover the money and later I would go home, all the more reason, I had a sick son-in-law in Moscow, one daughter needed to study, the other daughter had a job. Yes, I heed to help them all. Ok. I went. I Went. I found my relatives, I found my relatives. Those were my cousin’s children. My cousin was ill at that time. She was sitting, very fat, at the corner. Well, and I came in. They couldn’t kick me out; they had just arrived at Israel, the stairs were very steep, until I didn’t feel the pain in my legs I could go up. So, I went to the city, I was walking around this Israel. I called at one shop, «Do you need a worker?»
What language did you speak?
Russian. I didn’t know any other. I spoke what I knew. I couldn’t speak the Jewish language. Because I could understand but couldn’t speak this Jewish language, so I spoke Russian. Well, I came into the shop and there was a man, not from the Soviet Union, he couldn’t write but was able to speak Russian. I was happy to find the way to his shop and asked him, «Do you need my help about anything?» He said, «Where are you from?» «From Belarus». And told him, «Can I work at your shop?» He said, «Ok. Come». He hired me. And there was a Jew, well, he hired me and told me, «Go to him, to this Jew, he will tell you what to do». He was a Moroccan Jew. He was so black, dark. He couldn’t say a word in Russian. But his head told him in Jewish, he told him in Jewish very well that he should hire me. Well, he gave me the job. He sent me to the distributor. And she was non-Russian too, such a Jew. There have already appeared such long phones. They were all talking on the phone. Long handsets. They are so nasty. Well, we were given. The store was big, there were small shops around. I was told to clean and vacuum this store. She came. To clean the wall like this: «Erich. Bad air!» And I washed again. And I washed again. And they poured something into the water. I could peel my skin off. I was wearing gloves. I cursed my life. One day I sat down, came from work and said, «I hate already these Jews!» Saying so. And I thought to myself: «I feel bad here and there». I called my daughter in Moscow, and the daughter has a good memory, «Mom, how are you doing in Israel?» And I said, «Lyuda, there is always bad where I am!» (Laughing). And up to now Luda remembers my words. Well, in general, I spent 7 months there. I would work there more. I earned a little bit there, I renovated the flat in Moscow, gave them money, but my skin, I could see meat. I could not sleep. I thought I would lose my hands; I tried to tie them up, this and that. I stayed there for some time. And our people from our factory remained there. I was walking in Israel, they shouted «Motolyga!». Oh, my God. Well, these are our factory girls there. "Ira, we're working here. If you need a job, we'll count you in where to go for cleaning, and then you will earn money. I said, «Girls, I cannot, I have my skin peeling off, I can’t work any longer». Some of them stayed in Israel for 5–6 years. And they earned there. But I could not. I have been there and it’s enough, I flew away, well. In short, that's where I was in Israel. When I stayed in my relatives family it was so-so, but I'm already tired of Israel, did not want to be there. Well, if you go there to have a rest, to go sightseeing. But not the cleaning again, I do not want.
Researcher: Наталья Иващенко, кандидат исторических наук, ГрГУ им. Я. Купалы, Светлана Силова, кандидат исторических наук, доцент, ГрГУ им. Я. Купалы