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Sara Gelfand Memoir
Kletsk Life (1)
When we returned to Kletsk, Mother informed us that she received a letter from father with twenty-five dollars; a week later another letter with fifty dollars arrived and from then on we received fifty dollars every month. We were very happy and convinced that in a year or less we will be reunited with Father in America.
For his part Father was working on obtaining all necessary documents, but unfortunately it took five months before he received them. Due to the fact that we constituted a family of a mother with three small daughters who wanted to reunite with husband and father, we were on a relatively privileged place on the waiting lists. Yet we were not the first immigrants who arrived in Poland. For more than a year many Jewish families had done so with the intention of immigrating to the US and were on the lists ahead of us.
Another eight months went by before father could send to HIAS in Baranovich all necessary documents, together with the tickets for the crossing, for which he had paid in the US. We gathered all the necessary documents and when we delivered them to HIAS in Baranovich, we were told that our turn for emigrating will be in eighteen months. Our tears and our protests were in vain, so we had to accept the long wait and try to calm down.
Mother received every month the money sent by Father. Half of it was spent for our living expenses and the other half mother gave as loans so as to gain interest. The long wait created also a problem for us children. It would have been difficult for us to continue our studies in Polish.