A Different Kind of Story at Your Story (Cazanesti, Ialomita)
On January 29, 2016, as part of the “Your Story” Program in Cazanesti (Ialomita County), it was commemorated the International Day of the Roma Holocaust victims during 1941- 1945. At the event, the organizers had a special guest – a survivor of deportations to Transnistria. The survivor, Michael Gica, born in 1930, remembered the days when in the village Tuguiatu (Braila County), a merely child of only 10-12 years was taken by the orders of General Antonescu, boarded in carts with family and other relatives and led away in Transnistria with the promise that there the family would receive work. All those promises turned out to be lies, people were dispossessed all their assets (carts, gold and other objects) and separated from their families.
Deportees were forced to work hard even though ill. Many died of starvation or disease due to brutal treatment by guards from the camps. As a child, Michael Gica saw around himself death and pain, but retained the belief that the days will come when he will reconnect with his family that he had been separated from and whom he has not seen it ever since. At the day of his release, he returned to Romania, but this time in the town of Grindu (Ialomita County) in 1944. All this were happening during a hard winter in shabby huts, while eating Manduca (a dough from corn and wheat bran) and hoping for a new beginning. But here they were persecuted by the Germans, leaving for Cazanesti, where Nea Gica later on had a family with a girl and three boys.
Thus, at the special event of the “Your Story” Program, among children stories, we listened to a real and frightening story from which we understood that the most valuable thing is the life. The covering of the special event in Cazanesti was done by the organizing team of the Your Story sessions (Mihaela Pana and Anisoara Manea), along with local project team – the Educator, the Mediator, and the Community Facilitator.