Photo taken in:KishinevYear when photo was taken:1954Country name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Moldova
This is me with my wife Lyalia Chubat [nee Rakier] The picture was taken in Kishinev in 1954.
When in 1950 I finished school, my mother insisted that I should enter the most unpopular college where there was no competition. It was very hard for Jews to enter institutions of higher education without bribe or connections as it was the time of the struggle against rootless cosmopolites. I wanted to become an engineer and work with metal, but I agreed with my mother that I should acquire some profession and start working. I entered a statistics college.
Mostly girls studied there. There were only three guys in our group. I was a handsome guy and girls tried to do their best to get my attention. The deprivations I went through in my childhood didn't only retard my growth, but my general outlook. I didn't notice beautiful girls, the splendor of nature, spring, trees and flowers. The war had an impact on my development and merely broke my heart. First, I didn't pay attention to the new student who shared a desk with me, when I was in my second year. She tried to make overtures. Then I noticed that she was pretty and sweet. We became friends. Her name was Lyalia Rakier. Lyalia was born in 1936 in Kishinev. Her father, Gersh Rakier, had worked as an accountant. He died during the war. Lyalia's mother, Maria Rakier, was an obstetrician, and worked in a hospital. We became close friends, though I didn't think of marriage at that time. We went to the cinema, and for walks. Our mothers met. Together we decided to enter the institute.
In December 1957 I was given a ten-day leave from my army service and flew to Kishinev. Lyalia insisted that we get married immediately, and I couldn't break my promise. I wasn't ready to get married, but I couldn't go back on my word. On the frosty day of 4th December, we went to the state marriage registration office. I wasn't in winter uniform and Lyalia wasn't in a warm coat. We didn't have a wedding party. I was demobilized in February 1958. I came back to Kishinev.