Oral History Excerpts

Eufemia Hima Dimitru

Eufemia Hima Dimitru. Photo by Henry Law


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Have Had Leprosy

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It was on the 16th of May, 1946 that I received the information that I had leprosy. My mother started to cry and gave me powder so I could cover my face. It was a tragedy for the family. For three years I was in bed, sick in both spirit and body. I was 18 years old when they sent me here. On the 6th of June, I’ll be 79 . . . .

Many have died, many came before me and many come after me . . . . Write the truth.

-- Eufemia Hima Dimitru, one of the last residents of Tichilesti, the last leprosy hospital in Romania. Excerpts from oral history conducted by Anwei Law. Translation from Romanian by Jon Brodal and Violeta Basa.