Yakov Linov with his brothers

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This is a photo of my mother’s brothers: Solomon Linov, Yakov Linov, Samuel Linov and Lazar Linov. It was taken in Leningrad in the 1930s because they all lived there in those times.

Samuel, the eldest brother, was born in 1900. He got married early, and moved to Leningrad after the Revolution. Lazar became a hat-maker and helped his father. It's interesting that he happened to be the only one, who followed in his father's footsteps and became a hat-maker. Yakov graduated from the Sport College, and I know nothing about Solomon's education.

Even before the Revolution, in 1915, when my mother turned 18, she didn't have a right to stay in Bologoye because she wasn't married. Gorodovoy [policeman in tsarist Russia] came to Granddad and said, 'Abram, when is your daughter going to leave? She is 18, she can't live here.' They gave him some money, and she continued to live all right.

My mom raised all of Grandmother's children, as she was the oldest one and always helped her mother. She was a babysitter both for her brothers and sisters. That's why she didn't get any education. She studied at the elementary school for four years, and then her father said, 'You can write and read, that's enough.' On the contrary, her sisters finished the gymnasium.

They were all gifted children. Lazar played the horn, Aunt Rosa played the piano, and Granddad bought her a piano. Later she was a tutor in a kindergarten, and Aunt Panna became a bookkeeper, she got married and left for Moscow. I don't know what Solomon and Samuel did. I remember only, that Samuel's wife was a headmistress of a kindergarten. I don't have any idea, if they were religious or not. I can suppose only that, living in Leningrad, none of the brothers observed the kashrut or Sabbath. My mother wasn't very keen on her relatives; she communicated more with her own family and didn't tell us a lot about her brothers and sisters. I know that Solomon and Samuel were civil servants. Yakov was a sportsman. They all died in the 1940s, during World War II, and only Lazar stayed alive.

My mother's brother Lazar liked to have fun; he liked parties, played the horn in a brass-band, and invited guys over to his. Later he was arrested for telling a joke and then exiled to Kolyma. I don't know, what that joke was, I was a little girl in those times. My mother, probably, didn't know either, for we lived in Bologoye and all that happened in Leningrad.

Interview details

Interviewee: Rebecca Levina
Nika Parhomovskaya
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St. Petersburg, Russia


Yakov Linov
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Besieged Leningrad
before WW II:
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