Re: Maiming to Avoid the Russian Draft?


My maternal grandfather was sent to the front in the Russo-Japanese War where conditions were beyond terrible for Jews.  He shot off the top of his pinkie finger so he could return to his wife and family.  Once home though, he soon left to immigrate to the US.  His family followed soon afterwards.


My paternal uncle changed his name to come to the U.S. to avoid being drafted.  He was only 14.  My father left when he was 16.  I can hardly imagine what it must have been like to travel so far alone at such young ages.  It had to be horrible for their mother, especially since the boys’ father had died many years before.  Clearly such behavior was done to preserve their lives and freedom.





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