Refugees’ so­journ

Canada's History - - ALBUM - Sub­mit­ted by Ron Ka­plan­sky of Toronto, son of Miriam, later Mu­cie (Brik) Ka­plan­sky. To read more about Sab­rina and Miriam visit CanadasHis­tory.ca/Al­bum.

This photo re­veals none of the trauma or tur­moil that Sab­rina Brik and her daugh­ter, Miriam, have al­ready ex­pe­ri­enced as they await an un­cer­tain fu­ture in a Jewish refugee camp in Kishiniv, Ro­ma­nia. It is 1920, and their flight from Ukraine has been ac­com­plished via horse-drawn cart and river ferry. Miriam’s head has been shaved to pre­vent lice or to stop in­fec­tion.

Sab­rina, fair and blue-eyed, was al­lowed to sit be­side the cart driver, but five-year-old Miriam, dark-haired and dusky, was hid­den un­der a tar­pau­lin. It was their sec­ond at­tempt to es­cape rev­o­lu­tion-torn Rus­sia; on their first they had been caught and put in jail. Sab­rina’s hus­band, Joseph, had been killed as a con­script in the Rus­sian Army in 1916.

For the next three years, Sab­rina, known as Shifra, eked out a hand-to-mouth ex­is­tence in Ro­ma­nia. Their for­tunes turned when the Jewish Im­mi­gra­tion So­ci­ety ar­ranged an exit per­mit al­low­ing them to leave for Canada. The S.S. Madonna docked in Hal­i­fax on May 29, 1924.

Do you have a pho­to­graph that cap­tures a mo­ment, im­por­tant or or­di­nary, in Canada’s his­tory? If so, have it copied (please don’t send price­less orig­i­nals) and mail it to Al­bum, c/o Canada’s His­tory, Bryce Hall, Main Floor, 515 Portage Av­enue, Win­nipeg, MB R3B 2E9. Or email your photo to al­bum@CanadasHis­tory.ca. Please pro­vide a brief de­scrip­tion of the photo, in­clud­ing its date and lo­ca­tion. If pos­si­ble, iden­tify peo­ple in the pho­to­graph and pro­vide fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about the event or sit­u­a­tion il­lus­trated. Pho­tos may be cropped or ad­justed as nec­es­sary for pre­sen­ta­tion in the mag­a­zine. To have your posted sub­mis­sion re­turned, please in­clude a stamped, self-ad­dressed en­ve­lope.

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