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Chapter 1: Childhood

Chapter 2: World War One

Chapter 3: Return to Shavli

Chapter 4: University

Chapter 5: Return Home

Chapter 6: World War Two

Chapter 7: Saturday, July 8th, 1944—Day of Miracles

Chapter 8: Russians Again

Chapter 9: The Second Escape

Chapter 10: Stopover in Germany

Chapter 11: New Start

Chapter 12: Vancouver


















Volume 14

Meyer Kron

Through the Eye of the Needle

published by the
Concordia University Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies

Copyright Meyer Kron, 2001

Key Words

Shavli (town in Lithuania), Lithuania, World War I, Bogorodsk (town in Russia), Russian Revolution, Russian civil war, Violka (town in Lithuania), German occupation, wearing of the yellow star, Judenrat, Kavkaz ghetto, Traku Ghetto, hidden child, liberation, Soviet Union, Poland, Montreal, Regina, Vancouver, Canada.


Written in 1980, the author describes his life and family environment in pre-World War I Shavli, Lithuania. Author describes hardships experienced by family in the years of World War I and the period immediately after the Russian Revolution. He received education and training as an engineer in Belgium and Germany specializing in leather tanning, leading to a career with a major enterprise in Shavli. The difficulties resulting from the new Communist regime are softened for him by his senior and indispensable position in the tannery enterprise. Marries in 1934 and has two daughters. Describes the German occupation of Shavli in World War II, the restrictions on Jews and the confinement to the ghetto from where most Shavli Jews were sent to their death. Again, his position in what the Germans also considered an essential industry made his life a little more bearable. It was not enough to protect his daughters. November 3, 1943, the Germans removed children from the ghetto. The author and his wife were at work at the tannery and could not help. His daughter, Ruth, age seven, was spared thanks to the ghetto doctor who claimed her as his illegitimate child. The Germans decided she could be spared because she was old enough to work. The other daughter, Tamara, was four-years old and too young for work. She was sent to a concentration camp and did not survive. Author and wife find a Christian couple willing to help and Ruth stays with them until liberation. Describes liberation by Russian army and the readjustment to Soviet rule. Describes in some detail how shortages and bureaucratic restrictions created a pervasive system of bribery and corruption. While his specialized expertise continued to provide a position with many privileges, he is also suspected of having collaborated with the Germans. Being warned of impending imprisonment, he plots and carries out an escape to Poland and then Germany. He founds another tanning enterprise there, but eventually moves to Canada. Concludes with a description of adjusting to life in Canada. After some false starts in Montreal and Regina, he and his family settle in Vancouver.



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