Deportation, hunger and long separation from home made Maryem Bekirova stronger

85-year-old Meryem Bekirova still cannot think without tears about the morning of May 18, 1944. She and her little brother and sister stood in the street wearing only shirts while the soldiers drove her mother out of the house, and then tried to find the gold hidden by her grandmother. She saw her home in Crimea 40 years after the deportation and could not come to the doorstep, fearing not to cope with feelings.