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Lidia Lozovsky
Immigrant from Ukraine
Oil on canvas 40” x 30”

Lidia Lozovsky was 7 years old when her father was “expelled” from Ukraine. An economist, he’d written something that the then-Communist government didn’t like and was given a choice: "spend the rest of your life in an insane asylum or leave the country." To leave, he had to divorce his wife and marry a Jewish woman, as only Jews were permitted to emigrate. Lidia sobbed with her mother and older brother as they saw him board the train to leave Kiev. In Chicago, he divorced the virtual stranger and moved to New York City, where he taught at Columbia. He sent for Lidia when she was 22, and forced her to type his manuscripts. After six months, feeling trapped, she took a job as an au pair for a Hasidic family, and happily worked for them until one of their friends suggested that she become secretary to a wealthy businessman. She learned business skills during the 13 years she worked for him, and when he retired, started her own doggie day care center in Long Island City. You couldn’t do this in Ukraine, she says, even today, because of corruption. People show up wanting payments "for protection.” And banks “lose” your money. “It’s very easy to start something here — as long as you have ability and stamina, you can do it."

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