Thaw in The Ice Curtain

It was a heartwarming scene in the coldest of climates. Ora Gologergen, 72, boarded Alaska Airlines' "Friendship One" flight in Nome for the 40-minute trip to Provideniya, U.S.S.R., a bleak town of dilapidated concrete buildings across the Bering Sea. There, with hugs and shouts in Yupik, her native language, she was reunited with her close childhood friend, Uksima Uksima, 73, a Siberian Eskimo. The two are among the thousands of Eskimos separated in 1948 when the cold war dropped an Ice Curtain across the Bering Strait, closing the Alaska-Siberia passage. With this flight, about 25 Eskimos living on the American side...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!