Who are you?
I am Pili and Danicas doughter.
When they took us to Russia in Antonescu’s time, they took us to Russia and there we left our horses, our waggons, our silver glasses, our gold, everything remained there. How many children were we? We were three, two girls and a boy. They took us to Russia, they hurt us, they mocked us. We sat in kolkhozes and ate pumpkins, my dear. We ate pumpkins, so help me Good. Pumpkins and pumpkin peels we picked them up and ate them. They whipped us and hit us with whips and hit our parents wiyh rubber crows and we didn’t know where to turn our heads for fear, for fear becouse we were afraid. The small one was born there, in Russia, they threw her under a bridge as they were no longer able to bring her home. Me, they threw in a ditch as they couldn’t carry me further. And then came the Russians, the Russians came on us and put us in some big, big kolkhozes, they put us there. We were over three, four hundred Roma, as they gathered us all in one place. We all slept on straw, there were no beds there, there was nothing, we slept on straw, next to our father, netxt to our mother.
How old were your auntie, Marica?
Six years, dearest, six years.
Be healthy! When we got there, they put us in that kolkhoz. They would take the people who were going to get seeds, as we were gathering seeds from those fields and sunflower seeds to eat them, this is how hungry we were. An we were hungry and we were bitter, and distressed. Our father, our mothere, they were crying like only parents do. They were crying next to us, just crying.
And then, they took us elsewhere. When someone went to gather some seeds or get a pumpkin, they were killed by the Russians. They were killed, shot and would be left there in the cornfield, between the seeds, wherever they went, where they went to bring food to feed theyr kids. The children were starving, the Russians were coming and hitting our parents with rubber crows, with clubs.
They were definitely killing the poor souls. We were skreaming and cryingm but there was nothing we could do, could do nothing. Then my father said. They allowed us to return. They ordered us to get back and return home. We took the same roads we came on, where we walked, they put us in a big, big, carload. They released us wherever God let them to, all over the country. They released us. We all went back where they took us from. They lyed, said they would give us horses, and vaggos, that they would give us houses and our people were glad as they lived in tents so they all went there. They left behind the silver glasses, they left behind the vaggons and the tents. They left everything behind and left. They stuffed us all in a big crload and brought us there, took us away. There they mocked us and made fun of us, the younger women, as to speek, the Russians. They had theyr fun with them until they took the knife and cut theur breasts round, just like this, they cus off their breasts. Just for a lough, to mock them, they cut their breasts, beat them and did this and that to them.
The others were afraid, our parents would not go anywhere to bring us food from the fields and we were starving.
What’s the name of that place you were, Niculaev?
That’s what I think, dear.
Some of it I’ve forgotten sice then, but my parents told me, as I had not so much knowledge on my five years. It’s all from the tales my parents told me when they were alive.
We returned from there and there was a little girl left under a bridge. My mother threw her under the bridge because she couldn’t carry her anymore, so she left her under the bridge, saying that the little girl died on the way and that’s it. A boy, my brother that was younger then me, got lost with my mother as they followed the vaggons, the Russians were on our tracks, if one was not running they cought up , they whipped you, they beat you with whips, to go ahead on the road, so the ones who could run would do so, the other ones were left behind to die by theit own parents. My mother got lost, she got lost with a child in her arms. That boy would have had six or seven years, the one that died, he was not older and was left behind as he got lost from our father. My father took me and an other sister who died and we came back, came here.
They brougt us back from where they took us. From here they took us away. From this verry village, they lied our people, they said they would give them horses and cattle, they said we give you houses, and fortune so they would not live in misery any more, in this poverty where you starve, but it was much worse there for us, they destroyed us there, our parents our children everything. Our people died in ditches and were beaten with whips and rubber sticks, they hit them sister. Some of them returned, some others did not. Not to tell about those korhoses, over three hundered people (died). All dead, all of them dead, all died, and the children, those who had children lost them all. There were six, seven , ten years old children, eleven years old ones , all died. Famished, most of them died of hunger, famished pour souls, as when they went to get some food, to steal something from the fields, the Russians killed them, they beat them to death, with rubber sticks, with clubs beat them and left them dead. .
You left from this very village ?.
Yes, from here, from this village, on the way back my mother got lost.
Where did you live?
In tens, dear. When we got back and our Romanians saw us they fed us, they brougt food with plates, with pots and they were sying “Our people returned” They gave us food and brought us clothes as we had none, were naked and famished and ill and you had nowhere to go to get medicine, you could not find anything, were starving and dying in poverty. And so were our parents next to us, starving to death, crying for our mercy, they cried for our mercy.
How many siblings did you have?
Did they return?
All three of us returned except one that was born there and died there. I told you that she was born and thrown under a bridge as they could not carry her becouse the others came from behind with the carriges and we had to run ahead on the road, for the ones with carriges came and killed us, if you were not running from their roads you were killed. Just like that, one was falling here, an other one there, we had no utility…
Aunt Marica, how do you live today? What do you do?
Out of the village, dear
Do you have a pension?
I have no pension. I have allowance for two girls, two checks for two girls.
How much money?.
Four hundered, four…
You have no electricity, no running water, you have nothing?
Nothing … if you believe me, might the Mighty God believe you, I do not have a house .. I have nothing, nothing at all, nothing … all these people can confirm this.
Aunt Marica, did you have papers issued, for being deported to Bug?
No, I did not know how and those who came to help us fill the papers asked for us to share the money half and half with them, make them and share the half with the ones who made the papers. Afterwards some did fill in the papers but up to now they did not get a dime.
We will put our trust in God, and they will come.
The Allmighty should guide you. I have no house, no utility, no light .. All I have is that small luggage over there.
Bagajul acela … I rented that house from that womanm look dear, last night , she came and threw me out and I came to this woman and put my small pillows over there, with two girls.
How old are the girls?
Pretty grewn up, they are here but for now I do not know where they went to play, I do not know where the girls went..
Who is speaking now?
I am Ciurar Mariam doughter of Dănilă, thats my fathers name, Dănilă. My grandfathers name is also Dănilă, my fathers father. My mother is called Eva.
When they took the people to Russia, I was not here, my parents had other children. They took their horsesm the vagons and all wealth, their heritage, they took all from them, and lied to them that they will be brought to a better place. When our people were taken, God knows where, as I cannot tell youy as they did not know either where they were, they were takes away for two, three days. There, far away, they ( the Russians) took their horses, took the vagons, everything, they got the children out of the vagons and they had to cross with the children in theyr arms the Prut, my mother told me, .. I do not know what the Prut is. They were taken over there to Transnistria , I do not know exactly where. And they told me, thay they were put in some huge barns, so they told us. There were guardians put to guard them. Those didn’t let anyone to go out, they were not allowed to go get things, while they stood there they got infested with lice, filled with dirt. Children died of hunger. They took the women out and beat them and the children for they had to work in the fields somewhere hoeing. They would get a kilo food for six, sevend children, for the whole family, but that could not be enough for a family. They remained there until they got ill and fell off their feet, meat fell off the children becouse of starving, they lost weight, they got ill. So, as my mother and my father told us, there came germans or russians or what ever those people were, an took all young women on the fields to dishonour them, they beat them and dishonoured them and let them there in the fields.There they styed by eachother, got lies and remained there for a long period of time, and they were forced to work. They were not allowed to go out, they did not get food, they had no clothes only straw in that kolhoz to sleep on one on the top of an other, filled with lies and eaten by worms. How long they stayed there? Four years. When they left, my mother had a boy, while being there, my mother gave birth to an other sister of mine, the older one and after that I was born there. When we returned, on the roads when we came back as the Russians stepped in, in a forest, God knows where, my mother could not walk further. She was famished and lost all her strenght and as they reached a field, they dug out potatoes and ate them raw. By that time it was very cold, my mother told me that I was freezing, I was little, I can not remember, it was so cold that she ripped her skirt in two and covered me in it. When my father saw that I was frozen, he made a fire and they held me above the fire like this, to thawe me, this is how frozen I was, and then we went further on.
Where they come, well they came back with the Russians, I do not know. When we arrived here, we had no house, no food, nothing and my mother fell ill on the lungs, and of lung illness she died.
My father had rheumatism in his legs, he had his leg broken back there and the leg healed like this. He was an anemic man, weak because he had no food, a sick man who did not eat enough for four years, had no change of clothes, was full of lies, devastated he was and sad. My father died because of this. Because of the cold. My mother because of the lungs, that is why she died. The rest of our family, all of us who were there, are ill, we have all kind of diseases I cannot talk about, as we are no strong women, just take a look, you see? .
I see .
We are ill, have rheumatism, weak lungs, all kind of illnesses and no possibility to treat them.
Here in our country, no one cares about us. Medicine is expensive to buy, a doctor does not see you if you do not have money, they do not listen to us. The Romanian are rich, they call us Rromas carcassers. They do not call us Rroma, but carcassers. They chase us away and mock us. If we need something, we do not get it from them. They do not call for as to help with work so we live as we can. There is no pension, no help. When I went to ask for help as anyone else, they saw my papers and told me that I do not belong here. They said I should go back to Russia and do my papers there as I do not belong here. So, where should I go? How should I kow where to go? I was left with no aid, without pension…
My old man was fourteen or sixteen when they took him away with his father, and his family. But, when my old man returned, when he returned from there… his father was dead. His mother brought him here, she raised three children, my mother in law, three children in poverty, poor people.Back then, while being there, they compelled him to work and then he got ill, he got rheumatism and high heart beat.
When he returned to Romania he went compulsory to work, as we had here a factory, and he worked there for thirty years. Then he got surgery. So, I put the thirty years…
I put. Thirty years. I have no light, no strenght at all. I have six little ones.
My old man paraslized becouse of his rheuma, he paralized from his heart. Well, my old man was for six years paralized on a bed. I could not leave to foreighn countries, I could not go anywhere, I had to stay and take care of him.
Is he still alive?
He died. Last year, my old man died.
Gor rest his sould!
May God here you.
Well now, as following my old man, for he worked in the factory and he had a pension, they should consider me a heier too, for I was married to him.
But when I went to take the pension, they did not want to talk to me. They said we had no ten years of marriage so I have no right. But I have six years of marriage. You see, all this time I was with him but had no time to marry, as for thirty years, we have a doughter of thirtyfive.
Bless you. So, for thirty years I could not get married because of the papers as they would not make me papers. I had to go to Bucharest and from there to send the paperwork over to the place where my papers were. I do not know the country, the month, I do not know where I was born. My mother told me, that she born me on a field. When she was in labour, she gave birth to me on a field. There were several old women there to act as midwifes for a baby. So I was born, and my mom took me in her arms, and here I am. I had days to live and I still live, and now I am here. So as how could I know those dates? The village, the month … back then they did not know village and month, we were on a run and scared and all the rest.
For now they asked me to tell them the day and the month and give them the information. How can I? I had to send everything to Bucharest, from there they send the info to Transnistria, wherever they knew and since then it took two years until they sent me the papers. When I got the papers, I went and got married, but now they say there are no ten years. But where are the thirtyfive years that I lived beside this men? Bunt I have proof, my children. I do have theyr birth certificates, the years when they were born but they do not want to see the truth.
Look, I promise you infront of the Mighty Lord, that I will tell your story to the people and god will help us to do a good deed. For this I came to you and it is compulsory that people pay out your rights, to you and to sister Marica, your rightfull pensions, you deserve this pensions and they are rightfull so God will help you get it.
Good bless you!.
Good will keep you safe!
He will give you health and strength!
Be healthy you and your family !.
It is compulsory that the people who did so much wrong to our kind pay for their deeds and that the Romanian Government allows a pension as he is also to blame for this problem, we have to help you if we came here.
God may help you !.
Well, in nintyone, when they released the law that we should do ourr papers, a man of ours came to me, he was the Rroma Bulibaşa from this place and he had contact with your old man.
A certain Tireşanodin Tohan, from Zărnesti, the one at Tohan, he is a Bulibaşă over Rroma. Well then, your old man left the papers to him, he came and gave them to me. He saw me upset and told me how to procede and what to do. So I did.
When the papers arrived there, they told me that my fathers data were not right. I resent and then they asked for other data, I sent those too and I got the third answer. Well, the third answer informed me that they got my papers and registered the folder, and that it takes some more time until they start paying out the people.
I do not know how to read, so I did not read the answer. Now, when everybody was informed, I went to a person to read everything for me and I did an other list and sent it back,. I did not get any kind of answer, but my papers are sent from nineteen nintyone.
You should live long and have good luck!.
Now listen to me. This thing we do now, I also an idea of my father. We represend a foundation called Ion Cioaba. My father searched a lot and fought to get these compensations, so that our rroma people get payed off. He travelled trough the villages to defend the rights of rroma people, he never cared if the people were poor or rich , for him we were all equal and worth to fight for. You see, the children are as theyr parents were. The seed you plant, is the seed that will grow. Now, my father is no longer with us, he sits now beside God, but we, his children do continue his work for the rroma people so that you can receive your rights.
God help you! !.
God will wait only for the Rroma people ! For this the gates are open for rroma people and we must repent. As your cousin Puia said, let us sit near God. Praised and Holy is God. We need to walk the way of God.
We know as well what it means to repent. I have a doughter who is repented, and a boy too, my old man was a religious man and I do know the word of God.
What about you?
Me not, as I have enough sorrow, too much troubles, I need to fight, many children. I have eight grandchildren in my family
Its not a job, its nothing, I connot?
You can. With God everything is easier. Whithout Him its hard. With God and beside God you can conquer all.
I do know. Poverty is too much …
We cannot do it without God… without Him, we walk in darkness. God is the light , praised and holy He is !.
Only with him we can go anywhere !.
I promise to God, that if he helps me and if God makes me live from now on , I do promise to repent.
God bless you . !.
I will promote your situation, I will present it to our parliament and to all international institutions in charge, as you need to have light and running water and all needed for a dcent life.
I kindly ask you to send out a message for all rroma and theyr children over time.
We send a message to all rroma people.
The poor ones and the rich ones, God bless you all and may God give you luck and health and a good life, no sorrows as we had and let us all turn to God as good comes from God.
What about you, aunt Marică?
The Holy Father be good and praised and us beside him. Let us get close, dearest, close to Him, as He gives us strength, Her gives us food, He cares for us. Without Him we connot do anything. All flowers we should bring to God. God help us and all people.
I do want to add something .
May God be good for all people and for us. God bless you for comming to us. May God call us to follow his path and give us strength and good will so we face Him, we all repent and have faith in Him as He is the one who gives us the power.