Capturing Russia from white to black, north to south, east to west
Vera: Family Emigration Story

Vera: Family Emigration Story

I will post a few portraits from a short trip to Minsk, Belarus that I hope will shed some light on the people and the country. I will start it off with Vera, whom I randomly met when I lost the keys to the flat I was renting in Minsk.
Vera told me her great grandfather left Czarist Russia to work in a Canadian mine to help pay off land debts. When her g-grandfather returned, he discovered that his wife had left for Moscow with the money and a lover. He remarried at 40 and had six children, one of whom died in a concentration camp during WWII, which took the lives of at least 20% of the population. One of the six – her grandmother – is still alive, age 90, and lives alone in a village, something not uncommon. Vera commented that Belarusians still migrate abroad for work much like her grandfather did a century ago. Indeed, quiet a few of the people I spoke with in Minsk considered working abroad as salaries at home are quite low.
As for the lost key, it had the address written on it. When the flat manager arrived to give me a new key, I raised the question of paying for a new door lock. He was relaxed ‘Minsk is quite safe. The person who finds it will be too scared to try robbing the flat.’ Four days later, no one but myself entered the flat. Minsk indeed seemed to be a safe city. 

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