Page 10 - February 2021
P. 10

                                   STORY OF A METAL BOX
                                    STORY OF A METAL BOX

                                      N I N A   K O S S M A N

                        A     p  e  r  s  o  n  a  l     e  s  s  a  y     a  b  o  u  t     t  w  o     o  b  j  e  c  t  s
                           f  r  o  m     m  y     S  o  v  i  e  t     c  h  i  l  d  h  o  o  d  -     P  a  r  t     1
                 Do you see this little
                 metal  box?  It  was
                 surely  unusual  for

                 its time – just look at
                 all  these  stamps  of
                 countries         whose
                 names, in the Soviet
                 Union,              were
                 synonymous          with
                 the           forbidden
                 “West”.  On  the  top
                 there  is  a  stamp  of
                 the       Netherlands,
                 and on the sides are
                 stamps       of     Italy,
                 Denmark,        Sweden,
                 West           Germany
                 Bundespost”),                I remember seeing it in my earliest childhood. It
                 Republica       de      S.   came into my parents’ possession after the war,
                 Marino, and so forth.        when my father, who had spent his youth in pre-
                                              WWII Latvia, became a Soviet citizen by chance.
                                              In this case, “by chance” is my way of referring
                                              to  Latvia’s  annexation  by  the  Soviet  Union,

                                              which certainly wasn’t “chance” – it was politics,
                                              and  politics  is  always  someone’s  meticulous,
                                              even  if  delusional,  plan.  But  in  the  life  of  my
                                              father,  whose  parents  took  him  and  his  little
                                              sister  to  independent  Latvia  as  they  were
                                              escaping  from  the  revolutionary  Moscow  in
                                              cattle-cars,  it  was  “chance”  that  brought  him
                                              back  to  Moscow  and  that  made  him  a  Soviet
                                              citizen. He and his sister were the only members

        litterateur                                                                February 2021
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