Chinese Betrayal: My Years with Nehru by B.N. Mullik

By B.N. Mullik

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Sample text

My grandfather, David Tsimmerman, was born in Khaborovsk but soon settled in Vladivostok. In 1916 Czar Nicholas II had five hundred copies of his commemorative book about the Romanoff dynasty circulated in the country. Its pages glorified the past and exalted the present achievements of the empire. Somewhere in the middle of this heavy tome with covers embossed in silver is a half page dedicated to my grandfather. He looks gentle, with dreamy eyes, as he does in the few other pictures I have of him.

With my great-grandfather Abraham Tsimmerman, truth and fiction have produced a filmy, smudged image, handled and rehandled by numerous family members through the years. He was, according to story, a fifteen-year-old, conscripted into the czar's army around 1849. I am told he was "plucked from the streets of Irkutsk to serve in the army and no notice was ever given to him or his parents. " In the army they tried to convert him from Judaism to Russian Orthodoxy, but he was not won over. Some say he finally ran away from the czar's army and found himself in Siberiafar away from his birthplace in Irkutsk.

At exactly five o'clock my father waved to me through the garden gate without getting off his bicycle, and I ran to meet him. I climbed on the crossbar and we rode silently, as we often did, through the quiet streets, the sun still beating relentlessly on our backs. When we got home my mother inquired how the lesson was. " I told her I hadn't been allowed inside the convent because of my halter dress. " My mother was puzzled. " "Yes," I said, "but today she wouldn't let me in, the tall nun. She said Sister Mathilde had let me in because she is a novice.

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