Gherman | Grandfather, GULAG Project
This man’s name was Gherman.  He used to visit my grandfather a few times a year, and I always looked forward to his visits.  He had encyclopedic knowledge of pretty much everything; he spoke German, French, English and Yiddish; best of all, he was as obsessed with photography as I was.  Years later, after I immigrated to the United States, I found out that Gherman spent 15 years in GULAG.  He met my grandfather in 1947 at Mine 7 in Vorkuta where my grandfather saved his life when Gherman’s right arm was torn off by heavy machinery.

When I began to research my grandfather’s life, I found out that Gherman immigrated to Israel shortly after I moved to the United States.  I called him and we talked for almost 4 hours.  He told me about GULAG camps and about my grandfather.  He sent me a 35-page handwritten letter with first hands accounts of his life in Soviet labor camps.

Yesterday I found out from my grandmother that Gherman passed away a few weeks ago.  He was the last of my grandfather’s friends who were in prison camps with him.  When I heard the news, I cried.  Rest in peace…