Robert Frimtzis (born 1930) is the author of From Tajikistan to the Moon, a memoir of his life in Bălţi, Bessarabia (present-day Moldova).
In June 1941, at the age of eleven, his town was destroyed by the Nazi Luftwaffe. He survived World War II by running 3000 miles across Ukraine, Russia and Uzbekistan to Tajikistan. Hunger forced him to quit school and get his first full-time job at the age of twelve, while his father, mobilized into the Red Army, fought in the Battle of Stalingrad, where he was wounded.
To escape from Soviet anti-Semitism and reach America, Robert illegally crossed from the Soviet Union into Romania, where he unsuccessfully tried to reach Palestine. From Romania into Hungary, then to Austria and Italy, he crossed the Alps twice by foot. In the DP camps in Cremona, Italy, he discovered ORT schools, where he and two others, out of 400 applicants throughout Italy, were accepted into the Central ORT Institute in Anieres near Geneva.
In 1950, after some three year