Yankle

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  • Photo taken in:
    Pilviskai
    Country name at time of photo:
    Lithuania
    Country name today:
    Lithuania

This is my uncle Yankle, husband of father's sister from Pilviskai. I do no remember her name. The picture was made in 1930s in Pilviskai.

I knew my paternal grandparents very well. My mother died when I was two. Her death was caused by some complications after parturition. After mother's death they actually raised me. Father got married for the second time and his wife treated me like a step mother, so my paternal grandmother took me to her place. I grew up in her house. In spite of the fact that grandparents were actually like parents to me, I cannot recall grandfather's name. Grandmother's name was Sarah. Grandfather was born in early 1860s. Grandmother was couple of years younger. They lived in a small Lithuanian town Prenai [about 70 km from Vilnius]. Here grandmother had his own house and churn. Grandfather died from heart stroke in 1935 was survived by grandmother for several years. Granny lived to see outbreak of war and was murdered by fascists along with other Prenai Jews.

My father, who was the eldest child, had three sisters. The elder sister Chana lived in her own house in the same yard with grandparents. Her husband Meer Kronrot, Polish Jew, was a very nice and kind person. Chana and Meer had three children, whose names I cannot recall. Meer died in fascist prison in Mariampol. There were rumors that he helped the communists, and fascists beasts did not find it enough just to kill him, but they also decided to put him through tortures before death. Chana and her children perished in Prenai

Father's second sister Sarah also lived in Prenai with her husband and 3 children- two sons and a daughter. Sarah's husband dealt with shipments. He owned a large truck and transported all kinds of cargoes within Lithuania. Sarah's entire family perished in 1941 with grandmother, Chana and her children.

My father's youngest sister (I do not remember her name) lived in Southern Latvian town Pilviskai with her husband Yankle. They did not have children. They loved me very much and I spent every summer with them in Pilviskai. Yankle owned a small store, located in their house. He also had a small husbandry growing the things at a small land plot. Both of them stayed on occupied territory. When the fascists came from house to house looking for the Jews, aunt sent Yankle to the garret thinking that a woman would not be needed to the occupants. She was taken and shot the same day in early June 1941, but uncle Yankle managed to run away roving in different places, but still he was taken to concentration cam in Germany. He survived it and came back in Lithuania. He got married in couple of years and had a pretty long life.

My father had brother Avrum Ushpits. In the 1910s he left for America, where he got married. He became a rather famous violinist. Before war, he wrote letters rather often. I remember he sent grandmother very beautiful pictures, which looked like post cards. After was we did not keep in touch with my uncle and I do not know what happened to him.

Interview details

Interviewee: Geta Jakiene
Kaunas, Lithuania
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