I tucked away that information and hurried back to the community center to find a harried-looking middle-aged man working at a cluttered desk. But there was something in Mishkin’s manner that seemed approachable. I cautiously introduced myself and began my explanation. I hadn’t gotten far when he held up his hand and said he knew all about it. He said there were quite a few Polish Jews in the Russian Army, and it was his job to get them out.
I explained about my finances but could possibly pay him in goods, perhaps some shmattes from the marketplace, I suggested.
He laughed. “So you are already a dealer in the market, are you? You are going to do fine for yourself.”
Then we got down to the facts of the matter.