Who are you?

I am Kostea  son of Miu  and Leanca. My grandfather was called Mita and my grandmother was Zuza. Theyr father was called.  We were in Ştefanciu Mare when the gendarmes came.

What kind of rroma are you?

Căldărari (Tinker). We would work  on kettles, we made pots, kettles, pans and went with them to the villages and sold them there. We traded them for chicken, corn, even  wheat and sold those further. The chicken, as there were lots of them, we sold to the henhouse, that many we would get. And we would work, we used to go to the village, sell things we made and do any kind of work that was offered to us. They took us from there and we passed Corabia. From Corabia we crossed and arrived just in …

How did they take you?

Guarded. The gendarmes took us and made us pass Corabia. After we left Corabia behind, we took the road to Turnu Măgurele.

From Turnu Măgurele we walked up to Bucharest. As we arrived in Bucharest, we passed the city and went from there up high to Iaşi. We passed Galati and arrived in Iaşi.  From Iaşi, we crossed the Prut. The Prut we crossed. After this we arrived in, where was it?

Kindly tell us , how many people were you?

We were forty waggons.

You speak romanes.

Forty waggons, guarded by two gendarmes each who brougt us from one post to the other. When we arrived in a village, one set of gendarmes  would hand us over to the next set, so we went from guard to guard. So we arrived up to  Iaşi. And passed  at Iaşi  on the other side and got  to Bessarabia. And from Bessarabiawe crosst the Djniester, at Titina, so we crossed from Bessarabia to Ucraine. And from the Ucraine the took us waaaay, we travelled for six months day and night. Our horses could not walk any longer, were tiered. In our waggos was gold, the carriges were filled with clothes, and all kind of stuff. Whatever people owned they had with them! They were rich people, not poor ones. When we got there to Valea Lungă, Big Valley, they called it. We remained there from St. Peters Day until fall, when the corn was harvested. After the harvest, they took our wahhons and our horses and let us like that in tents with nothing else. We had no waggons, we had nothing. They tooke the waggons and used them in the state collectives. They gathered us all and we left on foot. And we walked, and walked and walked. Where to? They took us to Trei Dube (Three Vans). At Trei Dube, my father died in Crivizor. My father died as he was ill. Who burried him? Your grandfather, Bărculika. We were going with the gerndarms. We were walking a long time, walked and walked. We found out that my father died, only two days later. We were taken to Trei Dube. And they put us there in a Valley as large as Sibi. There we stood an other six months. And the fall came, Lumina. And when the fall came we had no flower, we had nothing. We crushed corn graines on an iron sieve  in order to make some polenta as kids had nothing to eat. We were crying as we had no food. We cooked corn graines and ate them, potatoes just as they were no salt nothing.

Bria: They put us in those huts.

Kostea: What we did? They took us there where the frost cought us up. They prepared those huts for us on the banks of the Bug.

It´s still a long story until we get to the huts.

Kostea: Well, so I arrived at Trei Dube.

Tell us how you worked in the fields, how you were given the secret?

Kostea: They did not bring us up to then on the fields to work. We were in a camp there. Gendarms were guarding us and you were not allowed to exit, that circle.

Were the gendarms Romanians??

Kostea: They were Romanians. And we got there. And then suddenly appeared three hunderedand fifty, four hundert Russians who had our horses hitched to theyr carts, they put us in those carts to take us away and they took us on the banks of the Bug. There, on the banks of the Bug, the ones who could catch a huit, got one. The ones who could not, died until the morning becouse of the frost. They froze to death and ided with children in their arms, a lot of people died then. God forbid! When we got there, we entered up to five families in a hut until the morning when the sun rose.

When the day came, people were shouting Lumina, you could here them shout: „Which one ist still alive?” „Who´s alive?” „What did you do?” „Where are you?”

And then the answers would come „The child of so and so died, the wife of so and so died,  so and so lostr his … They were gone. The Russians who broght us there left, the waggons were with them.

Bria:  With our horses..

Kostea: With our horses, with all our belongings.. We were left poor with the finger… . We had only our clothes, our vests, what we were wearing. Our coates were left behind there where they took us from. Out of tentlinen we made shirts and underpants as we had nothing elese to put on. All we ever owned remained back there.

Who was with you there?

Kostea: With my mother and my father. We left behind Vraţa, Mocanu and Ludi  our sister who was separated from Brati. We took her in as Brati was not doing anything. You hear? We remained there in the camp on the banks of the Bug for almoust two years. We were not allowed to get out of the camp. From the colective we got molasses and flower, potatoes. Three hundered grams of potatoes and flower. This much we got for a whole month. Each month they gave us two or three hundered grams of flower. That was it and we could not do anything against it. We had no other place to get food from. So we were going to buy stuff. We used to go by night to buy from the Russians and brought to sell in the camp salt, flower we sold, cakes, bread we brought.

Whatever we found we bought with marks. We changed the gold money, golden coins we chasnged them to “zoloto”. We used to say to the Russians “zoloto”, ”hleba”, ”hleba “, ”Haraşo” they answered. They gave us marks and with those we boght salt. You bought what you wanted. We used to bring ham, chicken and we sold them to the people, Mocanu and I. Vraţa, Vraţa newer went with us, as he feared the supervisers (ceolovicii) would cut his hair. And then we left there and returned Lumina, as they took us out of the camp. The camp was dissolved. By then we were full of, God forbid, gaot! Typhus, lice, and only God knows what we did not have! Lice were swarming on the straw on the floor.

Bria: We walked over dead people…

Kostea: Over dead people that were on the way … The dead were here and we drank water from theyr bodies.

Where did you put the dead?

Kostea: Where to put them? We left them in the field. Mihaiţ, Mocanu Mîrado the old one, Onilla, Lisandru and Ilia went and gatherd all the dead, Moldavian Rroma, that were there and they made a cemetery from here up to the other side of the water. There was a cemetery on both sides.

How comes that?

Kostea: Real one. Romano cemetery on two sides. Real dear, how else.

You put them in a pit?

Kostea: How else, we dug graves becouse we cold no longer walk over them, so many dead bodies lied around. Dead  were? Thousends of dead people becouse of thyphus, of the lice, of all the missfortunes.

Bria: Becouse of hunger…

Kostea: becouse of hunger as they had nothing toi eat. Brati, this uncle of yours, he sloughtered a doneky to eat him. The other one, what was his name? Burdufu cut Binas hip and ate. Do you hear me? Starving, they had nothing more to eat. So people died.

I heard about Titira …

Kostea: Titira, that was an other place. So they got us out the camp and divided us to the state collectives, to work in the fields. Potatoes, potatoe crops, beets and bricks. We made bricks for the church in Burilova. Şpulikă, Tomiţa the old one, your grandfather, my mother, for a whole summer.

Bria: Tell about the huts that were filled with smoke. …

Kostea: Listen. When we arrived there, they took us away from the bricks an took us where there were many more people: to Onillă and to Mîrado who hat a larger bunch of people, in an other village, an other state collective. So we ended our work and they took us treshing, the corn harvest, potatoes, we harvested all in th efields and brought them to the collective. We took the horses…

Bria: The ones from the Russians.

Kostea: Hey, how? They belonged to the collective and we used them to harvest the fields. Rows and rows we harvested all corncobs.Cut the ears and built up strings and the winter came, Lumină.

When the winter came, the war was as far away as Tolmaci. That close it was.  Tolmaci. Atât mai era războiul. Bullet cartridges were falling on us, were falling. And then the gendarmes said: „Curse on … mighty poverty, do you not hear the war getting closer? Aren-t you running?” Then we took all we had, put the bags around our guts and got on the way back here. We took all and run away back here. We arrived at the Djniester again. Grandfather died, grandmother died on this way of returning. Pour solus could not walk any longer, were old. They were eighty, ninety years old. We used to get them by the armpits and carry them on the road. When we fell down we raised up again and continued. We were walking day and night, no stopping. Do you understand? We arrived at the Djniester. When we arrived at the Djniester, the Americans started bombing us. They bombed so heavily, that only bare rocks remained afterwards. Nothing else was left. Our people died, Germans died, Romanians died, the entire army died…

We were not allowed to cross the bridge, as the army was passing. But there was an other army left, down the river, a German one, and these ones let us too cross the river. So the Germans brought us over the bridge. When we were crossing me and mocanu, this one, Ludi .. while we crossed, Ludi gave birth to a big boy, lucky one. She grabbed him with her tiny hands and buf, threw him in the snow and covered him with snow, alive as he was. And the baby died. Now you see, Brati came there too, when he saw her si asked her „Women, where is the child?” „I threw him away, what else to do with him, I did it only to curse you”

So Brati started to cry. He cryed two sets of tears becouse of the baby when he heard that it has been a boy.

„If you would have picked him up and brought him to me, I would have carried him in my arms”.

This far we got? We sticked to the earth and bombs roared over us falling from planes, they bombed us. We run on fields and layed on our bellies until the planes were gone. When the planes left, we gathered and left Lumină we left, Lumină, go, go, go, go, go, go, gooooo we arrived at the Prut. A whole month more we walked, continously. On fields. We would walk as far as we could see. As we walked as far as we could see. Piles and piles of people we were, Dear God! Famished, here and there we got a crust of polenta that we begged for in ste villages we passed, we did what we could do. We found raw corn and ate it, fried it sometimes and put it in our bags for later. Do you hear me? And in the end, what did we do? We gathered and left, Lumină. Where did we get? We stayed in Larga.  A Bulgarian village in Larga. The Prut, one could pass at Oancea. There in Oancea they would not let us pass as we got thyphuss and we were not allowed to enter Romania being infected with thyphus. We were all covered in lice, and all kind of misfortunes, we were … How can I tell you this? The same as at the Bug. And they would not allow us to go cross the river. What did we do? We paied a man, five golden pounds for each family, to take us by night on the otrher side on a ferry or how do you call that? So we crossed the Prut by night with horses with everything, and the waters were deep, more then ten meters deep. We crossed. They would tie the horses at that ferry and crossed: Took us over the river. We kept close, hand in hand in hand in hand and walked until we reached  Galaţi. In Galaţi. Oancea had already passed Galaţi. When we reached Galaţi as now we were in Romania. Now, thats the end. We took a train. We went and  got on a train. Now as we did that, pach we were in Craiova. In Craiova we got out and went to the center of the town. From there we took a bus to Bechet. That was our original place, Dăbuleni. Our places were in  Bechet. When we reached Bechet we stayed, we stayed, we stayed for two weeks. Pullikă, Băllea and  Vraţă were enroled in the army. Only me, and Mokanu remained with mother, Kutuniţa, Băllea´s Mariţa, these we were all. This was our flock that was left. What do you think, did we do? No one knows what or how he did it, but Pullikărun away from the army with Vraţa  and Băllea, from Craiova. We suddenly found them back at the tents so we then gathered everything an run up to Ştefanciu Mare. We hide there, becouse there were many more of our people there. We hide amoungst our people, and do you know what we did? We aquired horses, we built tents, we aquired waggons and were working again our trade going from village to village selling kettels, and wherever Reomanians saw us, they cryed for us, they pittied us. You hear? What do you think we did? Eeee….  the time came, it passed over there, it passed over here, all people who were left behind on the roads came togehther. We met again in the villages where we were travelling to once more. Romanians would give us kettls, poloveacs (burgarian word for brass buckets for transporting water), pans, corn, money. Romanians would cry on our shoulders, our friends, as we were people they always counted on for help. What do you think we did, whatever we did not do? We went, Lumină and got Vraţă married. He took a  rich vidow, a year had passed by now. And a year passed . Lumină. Vraţa took his wife and got sepparated from us. Only me and Mocanu were left. Mocanu, did not know how to work properly. He was quite young, the man. So I would walk in the village. I brought back kessels, pans, whatever God let me find, buckets, things we used to make in old times. Mokanu did not really took the pan in his hands when  Vraţă cought us and beat him hardly. Mother cried: „ O dear, you killed my boy. ” he then hit me too, Vraţa ,  beat us both untiul we layed on the ground. We could not get up to drink water. Damn him. What did we do ?

Tell us how they misstreated women, how they searched for them in the huts..

Bria: They would mess up maidens.

Kostea: Should I tell you how they messed up with them? Isn´t it a shame to talk about such things?

It is no shame to tell us what really happened back there.

Kostea: Well  shall I tell you what happened , when the gendarmes caught us?

Tell me so these things will be known

Kostea: When the gendarmes would catch one of us…

Bria: They were dragging them down…

Kostea: When the gendarmes would catch one of us… …

Tell us what was going on when they caught a boy with his mother…

Kostea: Those ones were putting us on the ground…They would cut our hair and give us twentyfive whips on each side of the bottom, beating us…

You did not tell us about that village where there were wine fountains.

Kostea: That was a German one…

Where they not …

Kostea: There were German villages, I won´t  say as you say for I am shure. There were german villages!.

How could there be Germans in Russia?

Kostea: There are Germans in each country. In the Ukraine.

Were you selling your clothes to the Russian women?

Kostea: We sold our clothes, blankets, all we had, our stuff …

And what did you get from the Russian women?

Kostea: They gave us a bucket of flower, a bucket of potatoes. for a skrit, a shirt and an apron.

How was the camp, enclosed with wire?

Kostea: Made of barbed wire. We cut it and got through it. In  the end we would go trough it,we had enough place to steal ourselves trough it and we went fter midnight in the willage. If the gendarme cought one …

How wide was the pis that enclosed the camp?

Kostea: four meters wide.

Bria: we jumped …

Kostea: We jumped insede it….

How many huts were there?

Kostea: There were four thousend huts. Right. And in each of those four thousend huts there were two or three families.

Bria: We slept one above the other.

Kostea: One on top of the other…

Bria: They had steps dug in the earth.

Kostea: And  they had steps dug in the earth … Whe entered four meters under earth. Wherever gendarmes cought our people in a village, they would ,istreat us. It did not matter if it was ones brother, or mother, or father, they would make them mes up on another in front of them  …

What did Romaians say to this?

Kostea: Romanians? Romanians were there, they were Romanians. How I put this? In the end, Germans would came to the huts to mess up with our women …

Bria: They took maidens…

Kostea: And they took the maidens…God forbid, that was!

Lets go to the end…

Bria: We were left pennyless.

Kostea: Rromas have remained… If the one, tehe son, would not agree to dishonot her … The gendarme would kill him on top of her. I am ashamed, how to say this ….   as they made love as they had no other choice … with theier mothers…

Bria: With theyr mothers.

Kostea: Mothers, sisters, doughters in law. Whoever was around, did it. That was the law. You obeied or they killed you, the cut you. We returned from the Bug and stayed and made …

Bria: The ones who died, died, Lumină. The ones who survived, lived.

Kostea: Survived. Those ones who ate horses and dogs. They ate, have mercy.

Bria: Who could, took from the houses, as they rund away, those , how do you call them? They were afraid of the bombs, so they run away. They left behind hen, houses, they left ,,, in that place there wer wells filled with wine.

Kostea: Wells with wine. ha, they would empty the wine barrels.

Let her tell.

Bria: The brave ones.

Kostea: Took and ate. They took hens and cought whatever they could from the yards, sheep, pigs..

Bria: There was noone left

Kostea: Nobody was there

Bria: The guards were also running away.

Kostea: The Germans were also retrteating, and those, and everybody was running. In the end, we did what we could do and arrived in Romania. And as was back then, you see me today. What else do you want me to tell you?

Bria: You do know about or sufferings…

Kostea: I got married and took this ount of yours.

Bria: We suffered a lot.

Kostea: Let it be, stay quiet. Why didn’t I get what was my right now?

Bria: I cry,  the sorrow we had on the walk back. My mother broght me on foot holding my hand an I said …

Kostea: One year we returned on foot. It took one year.

Bria:  I remember that I could not walk any longer. My mother used to tell me: „Hurry up, your father is far ahead” She hold my brother Mellu around the neck.

Kostea: On her.

Bria: What? And mz mother got lost of my father becouse she went to ask for a loaf of polenta, tgo feed us. So mz mother got lost and walked alone, two, three months, until she reached the Prut. We walked on foot alone. Why? Becouse she left to find us a piece of bread or something

Kostea: They came…

Bria: We ate Easter host on the road. On the road we took host on Easter.

Kostea: Walking.

Bria: We were walking on the roads and passing by. The ones who still had money, walked. My mother was a quite courageous woman. She went, she entered, she brought. The ones who were not, were not. Some of the people would fall and die on the road, fainted becouse of hunger, cold, lice, typhus…

Kostea: Sorrow.

Bria: They had no more skirts, no more shirts. The rich ones, srvived. The poor ones…

Kostea: They did not have any, as their clothes were left behind at the Bug.

Bria: Those who had golden coins, would give to that women. ..

Kostea: You’d give her a golden coin and she would givve you a bread, a piece of polenta.

Bria: We ate bread on the way, Great God!

Kostea: So we walked and arrived where I told you.

Bria: An my mother left and got lost from my father. Where do you think that we found him? We found him when they put us on train vaggons.”Those who pay a golden coin per person will get in the train. Those who do not, remaine here” People were shouting „ take us too, people!” As we  passed them, we  payed them, one had no other chance 

Kostea: One had no chance to take them.

Bria: We had no means to live with, nothing to eat with, we were troubled and poor..

We walked on foot holding my mothers hand …

Kostea: He hold her hand. An yoy see, we did not took a penny. Piţullo would walk, holding Lullikas hand, and around her neck, she carried Piţu. And we reached the point that we had nothing else to wear.

I wore Pullikăs underpants , me and Mocanu and Vraţa. Four brothers, wearing one pair of underwear. We took turns in wearing them.

Bria: My mother found a Moldavian women, who was full of thyphuss. She was verrz dirty.

Kostea: Moldavians abandoned her.

Bria: Are you Lipia? I am not Lipia, she said.  I am not Lipia…

Kostea: Look waht you made me tell,  now  this makes me cry.  And I cried and we came and lice were eating us up …

Bria: And she told to that typhus infected women; „ Hear me, dadă, will you walk with us? ”I’ll walk”. „You suffer of thyphuss. I’ll give you more food to eat, but you should not give your food to my children… ”

Kostea: To Mellu..

Bria: And I remained behind. And as I reamained somehow behind .„Do you have a belt?”

Kostea: One with arnici (*loose cotton balls that build up floral shapes on embroderies).

Bria: My mother took her beld down and said. ”You take this belt and hold yourself tight with it. Take this stick and let me see now,  walk.. ”

Kostea: Seh had no one else to walk with, the mother in law on the road, you understand …

Bria: She had no one to walk with. So we arrived, and she let us at a crossroad to see what was left in that empty house. And when mother gave ger the stick, we saw hr walking. And I said: „ My grandma Lipia is comming”…

Kostea: It was not her grandmother, it was that moldavian woman.

Bria: walk with me, as I will give you  plenty of food. .

Kostea: We will feed you.

Bria: But you should not give it to my children after you touched it. .

Kostea: I will not.

Bria: I will not. When we got there, mother saw us. Night was falling.

Kostea:  She bind her with the belt and took her.

Bria: Gave her a stick to lean on .

Kostea: And she would follow my mom.  ”Wherever you go,  Mătaseo (Silk), I will go ”

Bria: Well then came a Blacksmith.

Kostea: Blacksmith.

Bria:  And he took us,  Lumină he took us to his home and took a buket of water and washed us.

Kostea: His woman, the blacksmith lady.She bathed and washed the women and gave them food and drinks.

Bria: iThey washed us, we rested, we ate and drunk…

Kostea: They stayed for two days with that women. Two days they stayed. And then took her and left. Hand in hand, hand… …

Bria: So we got to the traincarriges. .

Kostea Before the train, at the Prut. As my mother saw the people …

Bria: Mother sayd only one thing, that we should continue walking until we get to our people.

Kostea: At the boat.

Bria: At the boat. We walked. Crying and crying …We could no longer walk.

Kostea: How long did it last? Entire months.

Bria: „Come, come, your father is ahed “.

Kostea: Half a year we travelled by foot. We walked and walked and walked …

Bria: Your father is there, your father is there. And we would continue walking , we needed to rest …She wold not let go to our hands and kept Mellu on her back..

Kostea: So we arenot left behind. She carried him on her neck. Poor women!

Bria: What was Mellu? How small was the little one. So we arrived at the  Maţu the old, Iaţa, my mother’s relatives. “You came, nice? ”. “I came. ”They wept dear, they creied and wept for her sake. And she cried for tehyr sake. We had no food left now, Lumină, we had no food left. So my mother went with the other women. And the women left in order to bring us some food. My father heard that we arrived. So my father came trough the army trenches and ditches. ..

Kostea: They were shooting people…

Bria: Wherever you would take a smoke from your cigar, the bomb would fall.

Kostea: Airplanes …

Bria: Airplanes flew above …I know this better than you.

Kostea: You know, you know, for you were small.

Bria: A, Lumină my father came and took me on my little hand and Mellu in his arms and took us away from there. When mother returned and asked her uncle  Maţu  and Iaţa „Where are my children? ”.. „Your man came, dear and took them. Your husband took them.” My father was crying on us, my grandmother, grandfather. So mother took the food that she brought there Lumină …

Kostea: And gave the food to the old man.

Bria: And she shared the food with Maţu and with Iaţa, her relatives. They were rich, her relatives.

Kostea: A family of rich people. .

Bria: From Mucea. My mother took and shared. And my mother said: „I will go to my husband, to my children. ” „ Go niece, and be blessed, as we will follow you. Go “ So we walked Lumină, and walked. Whom do you think we found there. We found Băşikari,  the …

Kostea: The people who were there.

Bria: we passed them . .

Kostea: Do not tell this one.

Bria: what should I not tell?

Kostea: What Iru did there …

Do not or people will talk.

Bria: So there, Lumină, they would cry on us. My father cut his leg …

Kostea: with a bottle.

Bria:  Frost came, it was very cold.

Kostea: His toes were frozen. So his leg benumed from here up to here. It would not heal at all.

So we stood there. The men went and asked at the trainvvaggons. And we settled in the trainvaggons. And soldiers would throw us bread and foodcans in the train. Romanias and germans would give us both.

Bria: From there, some got in one direction some in an other, each where he knew his home. .

Kostea: The places they knwe, where they used to stay, where they knew people.

Bria: Crying one in the armes of the other.

Kostea: At Calafat,at Băileşti..

Bria: some of them were underessed, undressed … The ones who were richer and had fortune and golden coines,  came back. .

Kostea: Where?  All people returned undressed from there, had no place to take anything from.
Where they found a rag on the road, one took it because one had nothing better to choose.

Bria: They took tent cloth …

Kostea: Zaruno tent…

Bria: My mother cut the  zaruno tent and put it on. My grandfather returned with one hundered golden coines from the Bug.

Kostea: Twnety five  big golden coines and he gave us each ten golden coins and remained with fifteen for himself.

Bria: From there we came here. We took my mothers donkeys …

Kostea: All these were left at the Bug, were gone.

Bria: Lumină my mother wanted to get away from her inlaws. We were older. So they took our horses. The waggong remained stuck in mud, mud like that …

Kostea: yellow one.

Bria: like glue, it was glue…

Kostea: Grandma  Zuza and Mita died there.

Bria: They took from us, Lumină, the waggon, the horses. Took our clothes. I was taken by the Germans. And my mother cried for me. If they only had taken me, so I would not have suffert so much on the way.

Kostea: What? You would live now in Germany.

Bria: Yes, they took everything and when they saw how my mother cried for me, they gave me back. And my mother told them only: Spasive, spasive “.

My motther took my little hand and dragged me with her and grabbed  that one here, on his neck. Do you hear me?

Kostea: And we did all we did andreturned.

Bria: And, we came,  Lumină, poor us. When our Romanians saw us, they started to cry.

Kostea: Eggs, geese, things.

Bria: What brought my father, Lumină? So many gifts, that we did not know where to put them. People came and looked for theyr things, the cauldrons.

Kostea: the wooden bottles…

Bria: Traps, pans, large buckets, small buckets, wooden ones. My father went ot Roşiorii-de-Vede and brought lots of goods. He went and changed the golden coins and brought wooden bottles, traps, couldrons, buckets  ….

Kostea: Your grandfather took …

Bria: Pans, trays…

Kostea: Just shut for a while, for I speak now. Your grandfather went and crossed the Olt river, as there were people there who used to walk with him: Parolea’s Rista, Parolea these ones, Seka’s Diamanto, people that they were. So he went on the other side of the Olt. Your father got older, he was grown up by then.  Piţullo was grown up.

Bria: He was younger than  Kîka.

Kostea: So it was decided  and  Bărcullikă got him married, he gave him your mother. And after that haidahai, haidahai, haidahai, Urdă  took her from him.  When Urdea took her away,  your father was left alone.

Bria: He was small.

Kostea: And as  he remained a widower, your grandfather  Ionu Răguşitu went and bethroted his daughter to your father. This is what my mother said then; “Dear, you took with love this daughter-in-law from the beginning, do not interfere for a daughter-in law. You had a fight with the father in law, go and reconcile with him” So we gathered and went after  Urda at the Valea Largă. We  went to bring her back, so we took Piţu with us, we went and beat Urdă uo and took Luludi  back home. Piţu’s Luludi. She was glad for that.

I do not want you tell us this story, tell us more about the  Bug.

Kostea: I tell about the Bug when your father got married.

He was seven years old when he left to the Bug.

Kostea: And he grew up to twelve.

Tell us about the Bug, anything zou remember?

Bria: The bombs…

Something that is still tearing your heart.

Kostea: when the bombing would start, we had no place to rest our heads. We run and bombings were following us. And we ate dog meat, we cut mead out of dogs, we slougthered dogs to eat them. We had nothing to eat. One man took the knife and cut a piece out of the bottom of a woman, Bina, and put the meat over fire and ate it.  Burdufu.

From where else was he supposed to cut.

Kostea:  Theres the best meat there. Do not judge him, he had no food at all…

What about Titira, she was an other woman?

Kostea: Titira? That was an othe woman. One that people ate up. They found her and ate her.  This Brati, the old one,  my brother in law, he slougthert a horse and ate it up together with  Cirika. Didn’t your grandfather tell you this, or your father.

My father told me also about the road they were walking on .

Kostea: what road was that? Whatever road you took, you ended up in the same place.

He told me that you were hiding in the woods, in n…

Kostea: We were hiding in the woods, in ditches, in those. How can you know that?

Bria: In the trenches…

Kostea:  We were hiding deep in the forrest until the planes left, as the planes ate us up. We heard the planes: Bu…bu… people were dying everywhere


Kostea People died becouse of the bombs and we were smoking on the roads while walking. Had nothing else to do. When we would find muddy water, we drank it. We drank water out of trenches.

Bria: We drank water from where the dead lied in , Lumină.

Kostea: water the dead lied in, from garbage pits, from those … we drank water from there, we had no other water source. Wherever we found snow we picked it and ate it, we made…

Bria: we drank snow…

Kostea: Yes, it was very cold when we arrived. We lefton Shrove Tuesday and arrived on wheat harvest.

Bria:  Easter we had on the way.

Kostea On the road. Easter past by anyway. Who would recall a  hollyday. We were walking for  six months.

Bria: Six months, Lumină and we walked and sleept on out feet.

Kostea: And sleeped and walked on the road.

What did people say?

Kostea: where were the people?

Bria: People had left…

Kostea: In teh village everything was deserted. There were only dogs and cows and horses left.

Bria: One would take horses…

Kostea: The hen we would let out of the coops out of mercy as they were shouting…. …

Bria: People run away

Kostea:  They had run away becouse it was war.

Bria: Becouse of the was. That was a hard war.

Kostea:  That it was, when it reached us.  Auuu, it was  war too? Germans would pick one up and misstreat you, they would do theyr ways and shoot you. We walked on the road and they shot a women.

Bria: Those who were tiered and could no longer walk, were shot on the spot.

Kostea: One was not allowed to rest. If  you could not continue your walk, they armed the gun and shot you, the Germans, so you do not suffer any longer. There was a pregnant woman, this big was her belly, God, God, she could not walk any more, she could not keep up with the rest becouse of the bourdain. Pregnant she was. They held the gun and shot her. When they shot her, the child in her belly was struggeling just like this . For a few minutes we got there to see, but the Germans shoutet at us : “Hai, davai” they said “Davai”, the Germans.

In the end, feet were not hurting any longer, we walked out of fear. Motorcades were passing along us and we were walking along them. ..

Go, go, go,go, go , go, go , where we arrived?

We walked for six months, one next to the other. The war was ended. The war was left far behind. We came where I told you, at Titina, from there we crossed and came to România.

Did the Romanians receive you well?

Kostea: How else? Our country was here.

Bria: They cried for us and we cried for them.

Kostea: They would ask: „Haven’t you seen our children in the war? ”

“we have not seen them “                                      

Bria: Seven years lasted army duty back then.

Kostea: Yes.

Bria: Some lived,  some died.

Kostea: How that?!

Bria: What do you mean by they only make one year now?

Kostea: You came! Be blessed! God help you!

What do you want to say to people who will come after us?

Kostea: I came and I told you. And people multiplied. These gandchildren that are now raised. They  got rich and bilt houses and gathered fortunes.

Bria: We suffered a lot.

Kostea: What we did in the end? We came,  Lumină we came and setteled in Sibiu.

Transmit one thing to people.

Bria: let them be lucky!

Kostea: Let Rroma people be lucky and filled with goild! Let them listen to our testimony. Now I do talk, afterwards you may continue.

And then, what did people do? We came and settled in Sibiu. So we came here and ate and drunk, so we did.

Bria: So that all rroma have luck!

What is your message for Rroma people in this world?

Kostea: Blessed be all our people and the entire menkind with them so no one will ever endure what we have been trough in Russia, in Trasnistria and wherever we had troubles.

Bria: Not even our enemies

Kostea: Let me talk. At the end, you can talk.

For the world should be blessed with brains, each child of a child! Be covered in gold!

Bria: God help you!

Kostea: And  all menkind!