Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"We are Bessarabians!"

Through one of the Historians attached to Mamaliga Blues, I was able to reach Mr. Levit in New York. In his 90's, he didn't speak any English, so his son helped us out. Mr. Levit is a scholar originally from Chisinau and knew that 613 people were exterminated in the Edinitz area in July 19, 1941 - among them was Yeshaya and Sioma Tolpolar, direct relatives. He also knew of a Tolpolar in the Philosophy department of the Academy of Science of Moldova, in Chisinau in the 70's-80's. This Tolpolar was a short, young man, Mr. Levit could not remember the first name. I wonder if this could have been Volodya Tolpolar, who passed away few years before we went to Moldova in 2008.

Both Mr. Levit and his son were excited to talk. I told them about the film project, and because neither one of them has access to e-mail, I'm supposed to mail some material.

When we were saying good-bye, his son repeated several times "we are Bessarabians!". What did he want to say? I thought about it for a while. That didn't only mean they were from Bessarabia, that I knew very well. It meant, I think, that we shared a common History, me and them. They were born in Bessarabia, but I was from there as well.