Mark tells the tragic story of his brother, who fled Poland as a child during World War 2 but later died in Uzbekistan.
Hello Dear Sevek, your photo has been with me all my life hanging on our wall next to mum’s youngest brother Malat.
I feel I have always known you, the stories of your life have been real before my eyes.
[speaks in foreign langauge] your first words that our mother described were on Black Monday when there were bombs falling around you in Warsaw. I wonder what it must have been like, at three years old, having to leave the comfort of your extended family home for a long cold journey to the east escaping with your parents the clutches of the jackboots. Mum and dad still had the key to their house in their pockets.
Seven years later they would come back to the devastation of the holocaust discovering that all their family left behind had been murdered in the most horrific ways. The rubble was total.
What my mother could never forgive herself for till her dying day was losing you. Not in the minus 50 Celsius below and the hunger of Siberia but a few years later in the warmth of Uzbekistan where they sheltered for the rest of the war.
How could she have stopped the typhoid that griped your feverishly small young body? She never stopped working out ways that she should have or maybe could have, prevented your death.
The 5th of February 1942 was forever locked into their psyche. A day of quiet solitude and a candle lit in memory of the beauty of a life cut short.
Your bright undying image is standing before my eyes, you blonde angel mine, your wise little blue eyes that shined with the blueness of the sky. You beloved son, the joy of your sound of your laughter echoing in the greatness of the forest, my dear son, little happiness have you in your short life and suffering a lot in you short days. Like an eagle carrying his offspring to a secret nest which is impossible to defend against a terrible storm did I carry you on my shoulders to a safe place far from the danger and humiliation to a free and happy life. They built another life out of the rubble.
So hello dear Sevek, I wonder what you would make of us all today. We are in a land that is vast and full of wonder. Our parents have passed on now. You have one brother in Israel and me here, two nieces and two nephews, cousins, still a couple of uncles, a few more distant auntie and lots of friends that know about you. Dad always said how kind and gentle and loving you were. You kept them going maybe you are also keeping us going our little Sevek, you are the world we lost, the links with our heritage.
Your hopes and dreams are ours and they’ll live on in us through us the bond of love between us remains unbroken forever. We found instead adversity and suffering and hunger and suffering from illness until in the end your clear soul parted with the body in the wide steppes encircled with mighty hills covered with external snow.
The only consolation and comfort for my aching heart is the bright picture of you in which I touch with trembling lips and circle with fatherly tears.
Joshua Z Ibbershtejn born…10th June 1937 died 5th February 1942 Kolchoz (?)Comintern (?) Uzbekistan.
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New life new country
My Second Home
Dad, I made it!
Loving Lebanon and Australia
The spaces in between
Where do I belong?
Heart of Otara
The story of an immigrant filmmaker
A Fishy Problem
My Beautiful Schwesters
Story education resources
Education Museum Victoria: Drama and Cultural Diversity
These resources for Years 2 - 12 students focus on immigration and cultural diversity through drama based activities. School-based activities are provided for before or after an excursion to the Immigration Museum , or may be used as an additional resource for teaching immigration and/or cultural diversity themes in classroom programs.
Education ACMI Generator - Immigration Stories
Diverse digital stories about the immigrant experience in Australia.
Immigrants who arrived in Australia from countries as varied as Ethiopa, Italy and Vietnam describe the sacrifices made, the experience of arriving in a new country and how immigration impacts on the next generation. Each digital story and theme is accompanied by education resources suitable for VELS 4-6.