This photograph taken in 1928 in Tartu and shows my mother and father. I guess it was taken right before their marriage.
My mother was born in Opochka (a town near Pskov) in 1901. Her parents were poor. She finished only 4 classes, therefore it was possible to call her illiterate. But she was very beautiful!
Mom worked as a hairdresser. In the beginning she was a master; later she was appointed a manager of her hairdressing saloon because of her diligence and good service.
My Mom's circle of acquaintance was rather wide because of her work: several theaters were situated near her hairdressing saloon. One of them was the Bolshoy Drama Theater named after Tovstonogov [it was founded in 1919 and is one of the most popular theaters of the city].
Another one was the Drama Theater named after Pushkin [one of the oldest professional theaters of Russia was founded in 1756]. There was also the Comedy Theater [founded in 1935] situated in Nevsky prospect.
Therefore a lot of her customers were actors. Mom knew many actors personally. It was very interesting.
I know nothing about the way my mother and her relatives got to Estonia. I was born in Tartu where my father and mother lived at that time.
I think that they lived there for a rather long period of time: my mother's husband and her brother Mulya, for example, played together in the orchestra - I guess it means that the family settled down for good in Tartu.
My father was born in Estonian city Vyru in 1905. I already told you that my paternal grandfather was a professional revolutionary, and he managed to educate all his sons.
My father spoke Russian, Estonian (I do not take these 2 languages into consideration), German and French. By the way I do not know if he knew Yiddish or Hebrew.
Besides, he finished a musical school and played in the Estonian National Orchestra. I keep a photo showing him together with the orchestra musicians. Pay attention that musical education was not free at that time.
My father was a real professional: he was able to perform serious musical compositions. I remember my Mom told that he wrote notes himself.
Some musical scores he arranged for his balalaika [a national Russian musical instrument]. I remember him frequently writing notes at home…
I know nothing about the way my father got acquainted with my Mom: I was not interested and Mom told me about my father not much.