In 1954, a pregnant young Jewish doctor watched from a window in terror as a mushroom cloud rose thousands of feet above the horizon. It was followed by a shockwave that violently shook the village, shattering every window in its path, including the one she had been looking through.
The terrified doctor was my grandmother, sent to the poor, barren lands of Khazakstan by the communist and anti-Semitic Soviet government. My grandmother, who had graduated at the top of her class in medical school in Moscow, was sent far away to Khazakstan because she was Jewish, and the photograph attached was taken there early in her professional life.
My grandmother immediatly started treating victims of the atomic tests who suffered from severe burns, as well as chronic headaches and hyperactivity. It was later discovered that such symptoms were related to acute radiation poisoning. During that year most pregnancies ended with miscarriages; if the pregnancy was carried to term, the baby would often be either still born or mutated: born with incorrect number or limbs, infant blindness, and large tumors. These symptoms are now known to be linked with exposure to radiation, but
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