Close your eyes and imagine how it was for our ancestors to live in Russia. Everyday you give your little boy a kiss goodbye off to school (cheder), but one day, he doesn't return. And neither does your neighbor's little son, nor your other neighbor's little son who lives on your street, etc. That's because the Russian government has stolen your children to serve in its army for up to 25 years.
These children were forced by the Tsar's army to abandon their Judaism and convert to Christianity. Those children who didn't cooperate were beaten, tortured and killed. Many tried to escape and return home to their parents, and many paid a gruesome price for trying to do so.
Larry Domnitch, author of, "The Cantonists: The Jewish Children´s Army of the Tsar " joins Tamar (an interview from 2004) and talks about the history his book documents, about the ripping away of Jewish children from their families and communities, and their ultimate loss to Judaism and their roots. A terrifying, yet true story that we must never forget.