- By Marya Zilberberg
It wasn’t my choice to leave Odesa. My father decided, my mother agreed, and so it happened. In 1976. We were lucky to get out, lucky to avoid the fates of refuseniks and political prisoners in the Gulag, lucky that my father—who lost his job immediately upon applying for an exit visa—did not get arrested for parasitism, lucky that I would be able to live my life in the relative freedom of America. But part of the bargain was leaving forever and letting others contend with the insatiable cannibalism of the Soviet machine.
How do you put into words what it’s like to know you can never go back?
Think of it this way. You know how it is when your friend has been trying to get a hold of you, and you say to yourself, Well, I’ll get back to them...