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baby pisetskaya

In this shop I met my second husband Misha Tetelman, a Jewish man.

Misha was born in Voznesensk, Nikolaev region, in 1914. He was ten years older than I and he wasn't religious at all.
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Jankiel Kulawiec

I met my wife while I was in Uzbekistan. Her family comes from Siberia, but she was deported back in the 1930s to Uzbekistan. I don't know why; she was a young girl then - perhaps she had been sent to do labor for some family misdemeanors. I know little about my wife's family history. But she simply saved my life. I was already on my last legs in terms of health, hungry, barefoot, I didn't have anyone. I was sick with malaria, and she looked after me there out of pity. No one thought that something would come of it between us. But it did. While we were still in Uzbekistan we had a son, Anatol, and then we came back to Poland together.
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nisim navon

After the war I married my wife Ljubica, a school teacher, whom I met
during the studies at the university. Ljubica is Serbian. Her family was
from Nis but moved to Pristina after the war to work on the development of
the town. We used to meet while visiting our families. We had a child,
Gavriel N. Navon, who died in 1954 and is buried in the cemetery in
Pristina. He was buried in the Jewish cemetery, together with my father and
grandfather.
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Rafael Genis

We had a good life. There was an air of trust and understanding. There were no conflicts. On the weekend our friends came for a cup of tea. We talked about life. We celebrated mostly birthdays and the New Year. During the Soviet time there were no religious traditions in our life.
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In 1953 we had our marriage registered in Telsiai and started our life in a poky apartment. It was always neat and cozy. At times in the morning when the breakfast was being cooked in the kitchen, I woke up and thought that there hadn't been a war and soon my mother would come in and wake me up. It was the first time over those 13 years when I didn't feel lonely and it was a wonderful feeling to know that you were needed.
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My wife is Lithuanian. Her name is Constantia, maiden name Beryute. She was born in 1932 in Linkuva. She came from a simple farmers' family. They worked hard for a living. Constantia was an only child. She only finished elementary school before the war, then there were no opportunities for studies. She found a low profile job to help out her parents.
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In 1953 I met my fate. At that time I was working in the road department and we were building the road Klaipeda-Kaunas. I was in the town of Linkuva rather often as we had a machinery site there. Once I was driving in a car and saw a girl walking along the road. She asked for a lift. Her house was about five kilometers from Linkuva. I gave her a lift and went to work. When I was driving back I saw her standing there again. The lady said that she worked as a maid in Linkuva. Then I saw her again, and even drove her home. This is how we met. I liked her instantly and I came to meet her parents. They liked me at once though they were Lithuanians and I was a Jew. They didn't even think of my nationality. I took the young lady to Telsiai and we had our marriage registered. We have been together since then.
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When I came back from the war, I found a Lithuanian girlfriend, who I had been dating before the war. It turned out that during the occupation she had relationships with men and even gave birth to a daughter. I didn't want to see her, although she was offering to leave everything for me. I had been lonely for many years.
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At that time the military unit, located 23 kilometers away from Rietavas, had a vacant position of a mechanic. I went there and was hired right away. My salary was 450 litas per month. I rented a room not far from the military unit. I went home to Rietavas only over the weekend. I gave almost all my salary to Mother. Here I started studying Russian and soon I could speak with my pals fairly fluently. I was a mature and materially independent young guy. I even had a Lithuanian girlfriend, whom I indented to marry in the future.
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In 1940, only Tsilya and Ichil Berko, who were studying at school, and I stayed with our parents. Abram, my brother, died from some contagious disease in 1939. Dovid kept on studying at the yeshivah. Liber was a clock mender. He married a girl called Ida from Radviliskis and lived there. Isroel was apprenticed by Liber and also moved to Radviliskis and lived with Liber's family.
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After their wedding my parents settled in the house, given by Grandpa Bentsion to my father. It was located on the same street, next to the house of Grandpa Bentsion. It was an old wooden house: very long and solid. When the babies were born, Father built another house on the same plot of land. It was a large two-storied house. Father leased the old house to a tinsmith. He had his workshop in the house and his family was also living there. We moved to the new place. There was a bakery on the first floor. It was the same as in Grandpa's place.
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My mother, Feiga Taube Maoerer, was born in Gargzdai in 1898. She finished elementary school and was literate like my dad. She read, wrote, and sang well. Mother was a very cheerful lady. During my childhood it wasn't common to ask one's parents about their past. So, I don't know how they met. Most likely they were introduced by shadkhanim, who married off practically all Jews. My mother got married when she was very young.
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Golda married an American Jew called Bromberg, her relative, and bore a child, whom she named Bentsion after Grandfather. I saw both of my aunts in 1989 during perestroika [1], when after a long separation I had a chance to visit them in the USA. My aunts wrote that they wanted to see their nephew, who was the only one to survive the war, and I managed to go see Ella and Golda. The two sisters were still friends - Ella helped out her poorer sister and they started every morning with talking to each other over the phone.
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Ella married a well-heeled widower, whose name I can't recall. She raised two kids: her husband's son from his first marriage and their son. Her son died at the age of 21 during an appendicitis operation and after her husband's death, Ella lived with her stepson for several years. She moved out, when he got married. She had enough money, and all the house work was done by the maids. All those years Ella was close with Golda.
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The younger sisters - Ella and Golda - got help from the older ones. They took care of house chores, looked after their father and stepped in for the elder sisters in the bakery shop. When Bentsion died, Ella and Golda left for America, where their elder brothers were living and they hoped that they would settle down there, as here they were considered spinsters. Indeed, both of them got married in the USA and settled in New York.
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