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To Kletsk (1)
We made the crossing on a cold night, with a full moon and arrived in a cart in the town of Kopyl [Kapule]. We met 17 people there -- men, women and children -- and two people who were to guide us. They had been waiting for us. We got off the cart and entered a forest.The ground of the forest was marshy and our feet sank in it.

cross border map
From Kopyl (right) to Kletsk (lower left) circa 1924
Interwar Polish map images courtesy of mapywig.org

The marsh was the border and it was very difficult to get through; when we extricated one foot from the marsh, the other sank in and we suffered the bitter autumn cold. We were not allowed to talk, for we heard the voices of the Russian and Polish soldiers who guarded the border. Another cart awaited us on the other side of the border, and wet, dirty and freezing we got on the cart. We were taken to a synagogue were we received food and drink. We had arrived in Poland.


After changing our clothing we again got onto the cart and were taken to Kletsk.

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Editor's Notes: This narrative is likely compressed. The distance between Kopyl and Kletsk, as the bird flies, is about 31km (19 mi). The group probably traveled for several hours before reaching the wet forest lands near the border. Several more hours were required to cross the border. In general, the border area is low-lying and criss-crossed with swamps, marshes, and wetlands. The actual route taken by the refugees is unknown, but the need for steath probably forced the refugees to take the least-traveled roads, and they probably traveled much more than the direct distance between the two towns.


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