Tuesday, June 2, 2009


2 months after the trip to Moldova I received this e-mail from Natasha:

I think I found the grave in Vadul Rashkov!
See the picture attached. It's the only broad one, of a couple, there.

Although it was a brief and simple e-mail, when I looked at the picture I could not breathe for 2 seconds. I was almost sure it was the grave of my great-grandparents we were searching while in Moldova. The same grave we had a picture of. I forwarded it to my sister, who reads a little Hebrew, and she confirmed. It is written “Tolpolar” there!

Incredible, I could not believe it. The grave looks different now, corroded by time. It was in Vadul Rascov, the only place we didn’t go because we were just too exhausted that day. 79 years separate the grave from me now, but I felt like I was somehow reconnecting with my great-grandparents and assuring to myself once more they really existed. And also now I’m sure that trip to Moldova was not the first one. I have to see the grave with my own eyes!

The next e-mail Natasha sent me was full with pictures from the cemetery, which I’m happy to share it here:

"Hi Cassio,

I wish you inspiration!

Please get attached some pictures. You see that the cemetery is ABSOLUTELY deserted. There isn't a single Jew in the village and it's hard to get to this now remote place. "

The original picture of the grave, with my grandfather and his brother, says:
“Here lie the beloved, gracious in living and in death together
Man/husband and woman/wife murdered in their home
And died in martyrdom (“holy death”)
Died the sixth of Tevet (?) (5)690 (according to) the minor era
Enia-Raitsa daughter of Efrayim (?) Meyer son of Chaim
The family Tolpolar (of) Oliscani - January 6, 1930
May his/her soul be bound up in the bonds of eternal life.”

Next: Finding relatives in Staten Island, New York.