Tatiana Tilipman Biography

Tatiana Tilipman
Interviewer: Ludmila Grinshpoon
Date of interview: October 2003

Tatiana Izrailevna Tilipman is a short elegant lady. At the age of 83 she has kept her attractiveness and charm. She is a wonderful storyteller. She is very emotional and she has a very tender attitude toward her relatives. She even tried to write her memoirs about her hometown. She showed me her writings. Tatiana Izrailevna lives with her husband Semyon Moiseyevich and their son Yevgeni in a 4-bedroom apartment on the 5th floor of a house in a new district of Odessa. Semyon Moiseyevich is a retired military. One can tell that he loves his wife and willingly subdues to her. Their apartment is very clean and cozy. They have furniture of the 1970s, carpets and a few photo portraits on the walls and a nice china set in the cupboard.

My parents came from Dzygovka, a small Jewish town [Dzygovka was a town in Yampol district Podolsk province, Vinnitsa region at present. Its population in 1897 was 7 194 people, 2 187 of them were Jews]. Dzygovka was located on the slopes of a small ravine and all streets descended to the center. There was a market square and shops in the center. There were fairs in Dzygovka on Thursday and Sunday. Farmers from surrounding villages brought vegetables, fruit, milk and butter to sell at the market. On Thursday evening the square was cleaned and on Friday night the holiday began. It was a Jewish town indeed. There were two synagogues in Dzygovka in the 1920s. My parents went to the synagogue that was constructed as rules required: men were on the first floor and women upstairs. There was also a Catholic cathedral and a Christian church in the town. There were a few two-storied buildings in the town. All houses were kept clean, even the ones with thatched roofs. There was Jewish, Ukrainian, Russian and Polish population in the town.

My maternal grandfather Iehil Trachtman was born in Dzygovka in the 1840s. His wife Ghenia was the same age with him. I don’t remember my grandmother’s maiden name. Grandfather Iehil owned a small tobacco shop where they cut tobacco leaves. The family owned a house in a street descending to the center of the town. It had two floors, or, to be more exact, there were two apartments on different levels. Grandfather Iehil died in the early 1900s, long before I was born. Grandmother Ghenia died in the early 1920s, when I was small and I don’t remember any details. My grandmother and grandfather had two children: Shlomo and Hana.

My mother’s older brother Shlomo Trachtman was born in the 1970s. He inherited his parent’s house and shop after my grandfather died. The shop operated until approximately early 1920s. Shlomo married Tzyrl Shwartz. She came from Mogilev. They had five children: three boys and two girls.
Shlomo’s older daughter Ita married Elek Reznik. Their marriage was arranged by matchmakers. They lived in the lower apartment of his parents’ house. They had a daughter and a son. Iehil Trachtman worked as an accountant at the buttery in Yampol. He married a Jewish girl whose surname was Yaruga. They had two children. Meichik Trachtman worked at the buttery in Chernovtsy Vinnitsa region. He married my classmate Lisa. They had a son who became a dentist and a girl who was ill and didn’t live long.
Feiga Trachtman worked in a bookstore in Dzygovka. I used to borrow books from this store. I read them accurately and then took them back to the store. Feiga married a Latvian man, a financial inspector from Yampol, though her parents were against it. However, they changed their attitude to him to better later. Feiga had a son. The youngest Shmilik
Trachtman worked at the power saw bench in Yampol. His wife’s name was Hana and they had two daughters. During the Great Patriotic War [1] he was in evacuation in the Ural with his family. Now Shmilik, his wife and their daughters live in Israel. Uncle Shlomo perished in Dzygovka during the Great Patriotic War. After the Great Patriotic War I had no contacts with my relatives in Dzygovka. I had a busy life and I don’t have any information about uncle Shlomo’s other children. I don’t know what happened to them during or after the Great Patriotic War.

My mother Hana Trachtman was born in Dzygovka in 1881. She was of average height, beautiful and had regular thin features. My mother finished a primary school in Dzygovka. She could write in Russian and Yiddish. She boasted that her teacher was Bloch, a renowned teacher in Dzygovka. Before she got married my mother worked in her brother’s shop cutting tobacco leaves. She was raised religious and she kept our household in accordance with Jewish rules.

My father’s parents also came from Dzygovka. My paternal grandfather Meyer Krupnik was born approximately in the 1840s. He was married to Rivka from Dzygovka who was a few years younger than him. I don’t know my grandmother’s maiden name. Grandfather Meyer owned two stores: drapery and grocery stores. My grandparents had four children. This is all I know about grandfather Meyer. He died in the early 1890s. Grandmother Rieva lived with us. She had a room of her own in the house. My grandmother followed kashrut, went to the synagogue on holidays and wore a kerchief. My mother and grandmother got along ideally. I never heard them arguing. My grandmother Rieva died at Yom Kippur in 1929. She went to the synagogue in the morning. She returned home and sat on the porch and her neighbor asked her: ‘Rivka, why are sitting?’ My grandmother replied in Yiddish: ‘I am sitting waiting for a cart from there’. She died about three hours later. She was 80. She was buried in a cerement according to the Jewish ritual in the Jewish cemetery. This is all I remember.

I never saw my father’s older brother Itzyk or sister Brucha. Itzyk and Brucha were born in Dzygovka in the 1870s. Itzyk moved to America in the 1920s. Itzyk had six fingers on one hand. He sent us a photo from America after a surgery when they removed his sixth finger. This is all I can tell about him. Brucha and her husband Boria Bortman lived in Mogilev. In the 1920s they moved to Brazil. I don’t know whether they had children or anything about their life there.

My father’s younger brother Moisha Krupnik was a few years younger than my father. He lived with his family in Borovka town Vinnitsa region. I didn’t know him. He died long before I was born. He had three sons: Pinia, Shmil and Itzyk. By the early 1930s the brothers moved to Chernovtsy Yampol district. During the Great Patriotic War they stayed in Chernovtsy with their families. They survived since, as they wrote us later, there was no ghetto in Chernovtsy. Jews managed to pay ransom to Romanian troops in the area. During occupation uncle Moisha’s sons lived in my parents’ home. When after the Great Patriotic War my father wrote them a letter asking how things were with them they wrote back that the house belonged to them since they had repaired the roof. Therefore, my parents couldn’t return to their house in Chernovtsy, although I still have a deed of purchase of this house.

My father Srul Krupnik was born in Dzygovka in 1881. He was short and thin and had a beard and moustache. My father was a reserved and taciturn man, but when he said something it was always to the point and at the appropriate moment. My father had authority in the town and people often came to ask his advice. I don’t know what kind of education my father had, but he could write in Russian and Yiddish. My father inherited grandfather Meyer’s business: he owned a drapery and grocery stores in a two-storied building at the market square. The drapery store was on the second floor and the grocery store was on the first floor.

My parents got married in 1905. Their marriage was arranged by matchmakers. They had a traditional wedding with a chuppah according to all rules. I remember my parents’ photograph after their wedding where my mother had a wig. They settled down in my father’s home.
The house was in the center of the town. There were flowers and acacia growing near the house. There were four rooms: two bedrooms – one of grandmother Rieva and another one of my father and mother. We, children, lived in a big room. The fourth room with a back door and a door to the big room was a storeroom for keeping corn, sunflowers and wheat. The house was heated with stoves. One stove heated the rooms and there was a Russian stove in the kitchen where my mother cooked and baked bread. We ate plain food: chicken broth, fish, stewed meat and boiled cereals.
My mother was a good housewife. She always baked bread for the family and never bought any bread. When we ran out of her bread we managed without. We followed kashrut rules. We only bought kosher meat from the Jewish butchers we knew. We took chickens to a shochet to slaughter them. There are particular slaughter rules: mentally ill people cannot do it and it cannot be slaughtered with a blunt razor. The razor had to be so sharp that it could cut a hair. Also, if a chicken didn’t die immediately one wasn’t allowed to eat it. On Thursday before Sabbath I took a chicken to the shochet. I waited outside. The shochet kept me behind his door since he didn’t want me to have bad feelings afterward. We never mixed meat and dairy products at home. Utensils and crockery for meat and dairy products were washed in different basins.

At lunchtime my mother sent me to call my brothers and sisters home and I was running around the town looking for them. Even if we just had potato soup for lunch the whole family had to eat together. Each of us had a seat at the table. My father always sat at the table with his head covered while my brothers were allowed to not wear a headpiece. We always behaved ourselves at the table. I tried to not dangle my legs. My father used to say: ‘I didn’t teach my children. Good children do not need to be taught and I didn’t have bad children’. We only spoke Yiddish at home. I remember that some time before I went to school my sister Rosa and I attended a group of girls studying prayers, but it was for a short time. My brothers attended cheder, but I don’t know for how long.

My mother dressed modestly wearing a black skirt and a dark blouse or a dress, but she always looked nice. She turned gray young. I remember her coloring her hair before the Great Patriotic War. My sister Rosa made a coloring mixture for her. My mother wore a kerchief. I still have her shawl and kerchiefs. My mother was kind and friendly. She got along well with all neighbors and always talked with them smiling. All neighbors, even Christians living on the outskirts of the town knew that they could always borrow some money from Hana Krupnik. When I was small my family already owned a grocery store on the first floor. My father went to purchase goods in Kishinev (today Moldova), Mogilev and Odessa. He and my mother worked in the shop. On Saturday my father didn’t work. My father was a very religious man. He always wore a yarmulka or a hat. When going to the synagogue he wore a nice black coat with a velvet collar. Father went to the synagogue on Saturday and on holidays. On weekdays he prayed at home in the morning and in the evening. He had a beautiful black tallit trimmed with silver. When a neighbor came to return a debt to my mother my father nodded to him to put the money on the table, but he didn’t take banknotes.
My parents had 5 children.

My older sister Ida was born in 1907.
The second child was my brother Moishe-Iehil, born in 1909. He was named after my maternal grandfather and in his passport he had the name of Moisey written. At home he was called Lusik. Then came my brother Haim-Iosl, born in 1912. In his passport he was Iosif. At home he was called Munia. My sister Rosa was born in 1917.

I was the youngest in the family. I was born in 1920 . I was named Tuba, but in my documents I have the name of Tatiana. As far as I remember by the middle of the 1920s my older brothers and sister finished a primary school in Dzygovka and moved to study in other towns. Moisey studied in a vocational school in Glimbovka in our district. He studied drawing and embroidery. Ida was finishing a secondary school in Yampol. I don’t remember where Iosif studied. Rosa and I stayed at home. Ida returned home after finishing school. She was helping mother about the house. She was my second mother. She always kissed me good night. My mother never did this. She was too busy. My sister was very handy. She could sew very well. Ida always attracted people’s attention in the streets. She was very beautiful and the best dancer. Once her friend Anyuta Eidelman made a birthday party, but she didn’t invite Ida since all boys courted Ida. Ida stayed at home, but all boys came to our place instead of going to the party. I remember this. It happened so that Ida’s most interesting admirers left the country. One moved to Argentina and another one went to Palestine.

I was called ‘a sis kopele’ [‘sweet head’ in Yiddish] in the family since I remembered everything and absorbed knowledge like a sponge. I remembered all rules and traditions and everyday details our life consisted of. One of my earliest memories is associated with grandmother Rivka. Once I woke up in the morning and saw my grandmother sitting by my bed crying. It turned out that my parents went to my grandmother grandson Itzyk’s wedding in Borovka, a neighboring village, and my grandmother was crying for her son Moisha who had not lived until Itzyk’s wedding. My grandmother was too old to go to the wedding. I was too young to go to this wedding and we both stayed at home. To make up for this misfortune my parents gave me two kopecks to buy khalva with nuts. I remember getting a big piece of khalva in the store.
In the evenings the family sat at table reading in Russian and Yiddish, as a rule. There was a kerosene lamp on the table. I was to wipe its glass shade with a piece of newspaper every morning. Our family liked books. My father always brought books from Mogilev and Kishinev when we went to make his purchases there. He mainly brought books in Russian. I remember my first book in Russian. There were poems, fables and fairy tales. The book was entitles ‘Russian writers’. My mother darned or knitted socks while I read to her. When my brothers were at home my father played dominoes with them. We also dried sunflower seeds in the oven and enjoyed eating them. Sometimes we had guests: aunt Tsyrl, my mother older brother Shlomo’s wife, and her cousins who loved my mother’s cookies. In summer my mother sent me to bring some water from a stream. The guests had cherry jam, water and cookies.

We celebrated Sabbath. On Thursday evening my mother sieved some flour and made dough. On Friday morning before dawn my mother started baking. She baked bread for a week and it never got stale. When my sister Rosa and I woke up my mother brought us delicious doughnuts. My older sister Ida was doing the house at this time. Rosa and I joined her after getting up. Everything was clean before lunch. My mother made dinner for Friday and Sabbath. She left her cooking in the oven. My father came from the store, changed and went to the synagogue. My mother went to the synagogue on holidays. Mother lit candles and there was no more work done at home. We, children, dressed up and went to walk in the market square that was also cleaned for a fair. In summer on Sabbath we went to an orchard near our school. It was a private orchard. There was an entrance fee to be paid and separate payment for fruit. My friends and I used to stay there all day long. We paid 5 kopeck each to pay a violinist that we invited and one of the boys played drums and we danced.

We started preparations for Pesach in advance. We made matzah in special pans. My mother wore a white outfit. We stored matzah in a special pillowcase with the word ‘Pesach’ written on it. Long before the holiday my mother started feeding two geese for goose fat for keyzele, matzah and potato puddings. The geese were slaughtered and since two geese were too much for us we gave one to aunt Tsyrl. Aunt Tsyrl also gave us one goose when she slaughtered hers. There was a general cleanup done in the house. We took down a barrel with Pesach crockery from the attic and stored our everyday crockery back. It was only allowed to use a mortar and water barrel. My brothers were working in Vinnitsa region, but they came for Pesach. On Pesach eve my father walked the rooms reciting a prayer placing chametz, pieces of bread, and at about 12 o’clock he picked chametz with a wooden spoon and burnt it. We never had any bread left in the house. After 12 we were given matzah to eat. My mother made potato pancakes. She cooked for the coming evening. The first seder was in the evening. My father was at the synagogue. I guess my mother didn’t go to the synagogue. My mother lit candles. When my father came from the synagogue the family sat down to dinner. My father sat in an armchair with a white cover and my mother sat beside him and I reckon they were even called a czar and czarina. My brothers sat on the right and then my grandmother Rivka sat across the table from my father. My sisters and I were sitting on the left side. Well, it was required to drink four glasses of wine eating food. There was a boiled egg, potatoes, and a boiled chicken neck put on a plate, but the neck was supposed to be there through eight days. There was also horseradish, khoroises (ground apples with nuts and cinnamon) served. My father gave each of us a piece of matzah, then another piece with salt, and another one with horseradish, egg, apple and potatoes. While handing this to us he recited a prayer. My brother Iosif posed four questions. This lasted till about 12 o’clock. There were glasses with wine on the table. During the prayer it was required to let prophet Elijah in. I think, my mother went to open the door as if for Elijah to come in and we were sitting there gazing at the door until late evening. This is how I remember seder. We didn’t have guests, but I remember mother always giving matzah to the poor.

At Yom Kippur we fasted and my mother and father spent a day at the synagogue. At the end of service they blew a horn [shofar]. I always stayed near the synagogue and when I heard a shofar I ran back to tell Ida to start a samovar. When my parents returned we had tea and jam. My father blessed bread and honey, dipped a piece of bread in honey and gave us to eat it.

At Sukkoth we used our storeroom for sukkah. My mother covered our food stocks with a tablecloth, there was a table brought in and covered with a fancy tablecloth. There was a folding ceiling and roof. We had meals in this room for a week. We always celebrated Chanukkah. Every day another candle was lit. My uncle Shlomo always gave me some money on this holiday.

I remember Jewish weddings where we were invited. My father wasn’t quite fond of attending such events, but my mother and I enjoyed them. People usually rented a hall and invited a music band to their wedding parties. It was a lot of fun. I remember how a chuppah was installed. The bride and bridegroom went around it. I don’t remember any other details. I liked dancing. They usually danced ‘sher’, a long up-tempo dance that lasted about 20 minutes. We also danced a Hungarian polka and waltz.

My sister Rosa went to a Jewish school in 1925. I was only 5, but I also went to school because I always followed what my sister did. However, I only attended school for few days until it rained. I actually went to school the following year when I turned 6. The school was in a brick one-storied building across the street from the cathedral. It was customary to study at school by guilds. My classmates were children of tradesmen. My close school friend’s name was Rachil Shoichet. Rachil’s father sold leather and leather goods. Rachil had three brothers and was the youngest in her family like me. Her mother was a housewife that was also customary with Jewish families. She had an old grandmother. Her older brother Aron moved to Palestine in the 1920s. Two other brothers lived in Ukraine, one of them was a teacher. Another brother Yankele lived in Dzygovka. He was my brother Iosif’s friend. I did well at school. I was good at all subjects. Rachil and I became pioneers, but I didn’t take an active part in this organization. I was more interested in our family life and spending time with my friends.

In the late 1920s religious repressions began. For example, at Pesach they began to give children of the Jewish school breakfast. We never got any during an academic year, but at Pesach all of a sudden. I remember it brightly: fried sausage, mashed potatoes and bread. Authorities forced our director Boruch Morgulis, a Jew, to do it. At home there was mamaliga [boiled corn flour] on the table and matzah was taken away. My parents closed the door so that nobody saw that we had matzah, but anyway, everybody made matzah. Before my departure from Dzygovka in 1935 there was still a synagogue and a rabbi there.

In the late 1920s - early 1930s the NEP [2] was over and many of our acquaintances began moving to Odessa. The father of Hana Krutianskaya, my brother Moisey’s friend, owned a big store in Dzygovka. When suppression of Jews began he closed his store and moved to Odessa with his family. My friend Rachil’s brothers left. My brother Iosif also moved to Odessa where he worked at the Monti shipyard. My father’s stores worked until the late 1920s. First his drapery store was liquidated and he assigned his grocery store to my mother, but later it was closed as well. In 1929 SOZ (farming association) was established in the town and my father got an offer to work there as an accountant. A few families that had horses joined this cooperative to farm the land. Later this became a kolkhoz [3] named after Kirov [4] in 1934, when Kirov was murdered. We all worked in this SOZ. My family and I and my cousin brothers and sisters also worked in this kolkhoz.

My older sister Ida married Petia Mostovoy, а Jew, a carpenter, in 1930. His family escaped from pogroms in Kazatin in the early 1900s. Petia’s family was poor. There were about 10 children. He was the fifth or the fourth child. I remember their wedding well. I was 10 in 1930. Ida made me a white cambric dress with a rose shaped pink ribbon. I called it a wedding dress. Ida had a traditional wedding with a chuppah. However, it wasn’t appropriate time to celebrate wedding as before and we arranged a party at home. An old Jewish man was invited. I don’t know whether he was a rabbi, but he conducted the ceremony and recited a prayer. I was so delighted by my dress and my sister’s gown that missed any other details. Ida seemed fabulously beautiful to me. Shortly after the wedding my sister and her husband moved to Odessa. Ida’s husband made nice cupboards with grape bunches on them. In Odessa they changed a few apartments before they settled down in Malaya Arnautskaya Street. In 1931 their daughter Raya was born.

In 1932, when I was 12, my father and I went to visit my sister Ida in Odessa on winter holidays. My father packed bed sheets and other luggage to take them to Ida. We went to Vapnyarka station on a sledge with a cabman. My father helped me to get into a carriage when a conductor closed the door. I hit the conductor on his back with my fists screaming to him to let my father in, but he of course ignored me. My father remained on the steps and militia probably made him get off. I went as far as Kodyma station where my father sent a telegram for them to take me off the train with my luggage. I pulled myself together to behave like an adult. My co-travelers were sympathetic and joked goodheartedly: ‘Don’t believe her, can’t you see, she is a profiteer with all her bags’. My father caught up with me taking the next train to Kodyma and then we came to Odessa. I saw many new and interesting things in Odessa. I saw an electric bulb for the first time in my life and I was the only one in my class who saw it. My brother Iosif, who worked in the shipyard, showed me the town. I remember the Transfiguration cathedral. There was a small cathedral in our town, but it wasn’t as beautiful as this big one. They took me to the Opera Theater and to a museum, but I do not remember any details.

My brother Moisey was one of the best read people in our town. He read Russian and French classics. I remember the ‘The laughing man’ novel [by Victor Hugo (1802-1885), a novelist, poet, and dramatist, one of the French Romantic writers], it was read to a lattered condition since everybody borrowed this book from him. A few of my brother’s friends were teachers and one was a local doctor. In 1929 Moisey finished a vocational school in Glimbovka and went to teach drawing at school some place in Vinnitsa region. Moisey married his childhood friend Hana Krutianskaya in 1933. They got married secretly since their parents were against their marriage: Jewish rules do not allow a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law to have the same name and my mother’s name was also Hana [Editor’s note: This was a custom among some branches of the ultra-Orthodox.] I remember that after the wedding our neighbor came to see my mother. He said: ‘Hana, don’t worry. Moisey will be all right. Our acacia in the yard withered. It withered so that nothing bad happened to Moisey’. Moisey went to live with his wife in Odessa and they lived in Malaya Arnautskaya Street. He worked as an accountant in the tuberculosis institute in Belinskiy Street where there is a regional tuberculosis clinic now. In 1935 Hana and Moisey’s son Bencion was born.

In 1933, during famine [5], my father worked at the granite quarry in Dzygovka to receive a bread card. I don’t remember any details about the period of famine since my parents tried to protect me as much as they could from it. I finished 7 grades in 1933. Then I didn’t go to school for two years. I was tiny and weak and suffered from frequent headaches. They thought I head rheumatism and a local doctor tried to cure me with aspirin. In 1934 I entered a prosthodontic school in Odessa, but I couldn’t stay in Odessa. I had no place to live: my relatives didn’t have a space to accommodate me and there were no vacant beds in the dormitory. I returned home.

In 1935 I went to Odessa again and entered a rabfak [6] in the Medical College. After two years of studies I was admitted to the College. I enjoyed my studies very much. There was no anti-Semitism and we were friends. I joined Komsomol [7], like the majority of my peers. I believed that everybody else around me had as much fun and found life as interesting as I did. Arrests in 1937 [Great Terror] [8] had no impact on my relatives and passed unnoticed for me.

My sister Rosa gad finished the extramural department of Pharmaceutical College by then and got a job assignment in Chernovtsy, Yampol district. My parents moved to the town with her. I never went to Dzygovka again. My father worked as an accountant in a store in Chernovtsy. My brother Iosif married my classmate Polina and also moved to Chernovtsy. Iosif worked at the state insurance department. He provided insurance to agricultural companies.

I often visited Moisey and his family in Arnautskaya Street. In 1936 I met a young man. He lived in the same neighborhood. His name was Semyon Tilipman. His father Moisey Tilipman came from Dzygovka and his mother Hana Tilipman came from Soroki. My parents didn’t allow Moisey to marry Hana since she was a dressmaker and this was not a proper “iches” [‘noble descent’ in Yiddish]. They moved to Odessa where they got married. Semyon lived with parents, brother Yefim and sister Ghenia in a three-bedroom apartment. He was a student of the Communication College. Sister Ida wrote home: ‘Tatiana is seeing a very nice guy, I hope my Marcus will be as good as him’. My father came to Odessa to meet Semyon and his parents. My father liked Semyon. In spring 1939 he and mother came to Odessa bringing everything that needs to be at a Jewish wedding with them: fried geese, chicken, sweets and my dowry. We had a wedding party in Semyon’s apartment. There were only our families at our wedding. My father invited a rabbi he knew. This rabbi conducted the ceremony, but there was no chuppah. We settled down with my husband’s parents.

In 1939 my husband finished his college and received a job assignment in the headquarters of Byelorussian regiment in Smolensk. I got a transfer to the third year of Smolensk Medical College. In autumn 1939 after the Western Byelorussia was annexed to the Soviet Union we moved to Minsk. We got an apartment with all comforts in the military housing district in Minsk. There was another tenant in the apartment. There was heating, hot water and telephone: it was gorgeous. It took me 20 minutes by tram to get to the center of the town. We had a nickel-plated bed and a wardrobe that I received as dowry and a record player that my sister Ida gave us as a wedding gift. Our neighbors often came to listen to records. I studied in the Medical College in Minsk and particularly enjoyed lectures in neurology read by professor Makarov. In summer 1941 after finishing the fourth year I went for practical training in a hospital in Chernovtsy Vinnitsa region where my parents lived. In winter I had a very nice ratteen winter coat made by a dressmaker for me and I wanted to take it with me to show it at home, but my husband said I shouldn’t boast of things and I left it at home. I arrived at my parents’ home on 18 June. On 22 June 1941 the Great Patriotic War began.

My brother Moisey Krupnik was mobilized to marine troops in Odessa on 23 June. He only managed to pick his newly born daughter Tamara from a maternity hospital to take her home and left for the front. He didn’t even have time to unwrap her to take a look at his baby. In summer 1942 we received Moisey’s first letter that he wrote in Sevastopol on 28 July. It happened to be the last one. Moisey perished in Sevastopol. We don’t know any details. His wife Hana and two children managed to leave Odessa. They got to Tashkent (today Uzbekistan) where they stayed until the war was over.
My nephew Bencion told me that he played dices with other boys in Tashkent. When he won some change he bought pies for Tamara.
My sister Rosa’s husband Abram Poliak was mobilized to the army on the first days of the war. We received a card from him where he wrote that bigger towns were going to be better defended and he decided it was better for Rosa and their son Milia to stay in Vinnitsa. His mother and father lived in Vinnitsa. His mother was bedridden due to her podagra. My sister couldn’t leave her. We don’t know what happened later. We don’t know any details of her death.

There were escapists from Bessarabia [9] coming to Chernovtsy from the first days of the war. My brother Iosif also received a letter from the military office, but he was proved to be unfit for combatant service and stayed to serve in the recruitment commission. In early July institutions began to leave the town. Chairman of the kolkhoz gave Iosif a wagon and horses and said; ‘take your family out of the town. The Germans are approaching’. My parents and I and my brother with his wife Polina left the town. We went as far as the Dnieper on the wagon. We left the horses on the bank and crossed the river. My brother was to go back to take the horses, but there were Germans already on that bank. So we had lost our horses. Some drivers going in that direction gave us rides to Poltava. From there we went to Kharkov and then to Rostov. After Rostov we came to Stalingrad. In Stalingrad we stayed at the stadium for a few days. I met my school friend Rachil there. Then air raids began. We were put on a train. Rachil and I were in different trains. Ours was a freight train. They were stuffed with people. Some slept on the floor. We got some bread or some other food in evacuation offices at stations. The train stayed two or three days at each station. German troops followed hard on our heels. In Alexikovo station near Stalingrad my father sold his fancy coat that he used to wear to the synagogue. We bought some mutton. My mother fried it and put it in a jar with fat to keep longer. I remember that this was Yom Kippur.

So we got to Turkestan station in Northern Kazakhstan. My father was smart and said: ‘Well, since we don’t have enough money to get to Tashkent, we need to get off this train some place before’. So we got off in Turkestan. We didn’t know anything about the town. We stayed in a garden at the station for almost 24 hours until the ‘Berlik’ kolkhoz sent a camel-driven wagon to pick us. Our landlord took us to his home. His mother-in-law watched my father reading Jewish books – he had a Torah and Talmud. The font seemed similar to Arabic language to her and she asked me in whisper: ‘Is your father a mullah?’ We worked in the kolkhoz in 5-7 km from the town, but we were to receive food provisions in Turkestan and we commuted 5 km to receive bread there. My father and mother were sorting out onions. My brother Iosif, his wife Polina and I worked in a field. Iosif dug potatoes and we picked them. I found a Russian-Uzbek textbook and learned a few words in Uzbek. Many locals were Uzbek. They were terribly proud that I knew a
few words and used to ask me in Uzbek: ‘Tania, what time is it now” and I replied in Uzbek. I had a watch, my husband’s gift. It was a rarity in Turkestan. .

Since I finished 4 years of the Medical College I went to the district health care department. Its chief Isaac Markovich, a Jew, asked me what I wanted to do. I replied: ‘You know, I was a 4-year student, but actually, perhaps a practicing nurse would know more than I do’. He sent me to work as a doctor in ‘Urtak’ kolkhoz. The kolkhoz accommodated us in one big room that occupied half of a house. My monthly payment consisted of 300 rubles and 24 kg flour. The kolkhoz employed my father as a storekeeper.

I didn’t know where my husband was for a whole year. They told me in a registry office how I could get some information about him. The first letter to my husband that I sent to the front returned to me. Later I found out that I put a wrong address. I sent a request to his headquarters and received my husband’s reply to my next letter. My husband Semyon Tilipman was mobilized on the first day of the war. He served in a communication regiment, at first in the 29th army and then in first tank army. He took part in combat action near Moscow and then in Kursk battle [10], with this Tank army he took part in the liberation of Kiev and Warsaw. At the end of the war he was in Berlin. Semyon was awarded a Red Star Order and four medals. After the war he stayed to serve in Radebeul, Germany.

In 1942, my brother Iosif was recruited to the army from Turkestan. He was sent to study in an artillery school in Tambov. His wife Polina moved to her relatives. When I wrote my brother that she left he confessed that he had thought about divorcing her for quite some time, but he didn’t want to upset our parents. After finishing the artillery school Iosif was sent to serve in an air force unit in Semipalatinsk.

My sister Ida and her children evacuated on one of the last boats from Odessa. They lived near the border with China in Kazakhstan. Ida worked in a kolkhoz. My sister’s husband Petia Mostovoy took part in defense of Odessa, then he participated in combat action in the Crimea, was wounded near Kerch, spent half a year in hospitals and was acknowledged to be unfit for military service. He found his family.
In 1942 Ida, her husband and their two children moved in with us. We all lived in one room. Our Uzbek hosts gave us two wide trestle beds. There were eight of us sleeping on them, but we didn’t mind it since we knew that other people lived in even worse conditions. Petia worked in the kolkhoz at first, but then he went to work in a state insurance agency as an invalid of the war.

In 1943 I was sent to work in an outpatient clinic in Turkestan. I received an apartment near the clinic. I was involved in liquidation of epidemics such as typhus and dysentery. In 1944 to Turkestan were brought some deported Chechens [11]. They were accommodated in the Hantanga mine where they were working. There was an infectious department opened there and I became its chief. I treated them well. The state punished them and I was a doctor and it was my duty to provide proper medical services to them. Our main task was their sanitary treatment since there was lack of medications. As soon as I managed to handle typhoid my patients fell ill with dysentery. My patients were sleeping on straw and once when I bent to examine a patient I saw a louse on my robe. I told the nurse to put down the beginning of the incubation period. I fell ill with typhus and had to stay in clinic. Once my father came to visit me, but they didn’t let him in. He heard in the receptionist office that a doctor died. He was terrified thinking it was me, but it was my colleague who died. I survived.

My father prayed every day. Buchara Jews and one Polish Jews were his friends.
We made a shower cabin made from branches with a barrel on top of it in Turkestan. During Sukkoth we removed the barrel and we had dinners there through 8 days of the holiday. During Chanukkah my father made us makeshift lamps from potatoes, cotton oil and a wick.

I worked in Turkestan until 1945. When Minsk was liberated I wrote a letter to my college. I wrote that I was a 4-year student and requested a permit to continue my studies. They sent me such permit. In September my husband came on a short leave to Turkestan. In late September we took a train from Turkestan to Minsk. I stayed in Minsk and my husband went back to Radebeul near Dresden.

After finishing my college in 1946 I moved to my husband in Germany. I couldn’t get a job. There were 40 doctors there. All officers’ wives were doctors. I worked in the women’s council of the army with other officers’ wives. We arranged celebrations for officers and soldiers. In 1947 my first baby Mikhail was born. I had my baby in a military hospital in Dresden that was registered in Potsdam, Berlin.

When Israel was established I lived with my husband in Germany and I was more concerned about talks that Jews avoided struggling at the front. Therefore, when a woman said in my presence that she had been at the front, but she didn’t meet any Jews I felt like beating her, but I just said: ‘You know what, I wish that you have as many pimples on your tongue as many members of my family perished’.

Shortly after Mikhail was born I went to my parents. By that time my parents and sister Ida and her family moved to Bastandyk, a small settlement in 5 km from Chirchik near Tashkent.
Ida’s husband was transferred there from Turkestan. They received a small house there and we built an annex of one room and a kitchen to it. We made bricks from clay and straw. Ida’s husband Petia joked looking at me that it was a decent job for a doctor. Some time later I got a job at a tinned food plant.

In 1949 my husband was transferred to a communication regiment in Odessa and left Radebeul. Semyon came to pick me and two-year-old Mikhail. We failed to get back our apartment. My husband’s parents and sister Ghenia perished in Domanevka camp [12], and his brother Yefim perished at the front. We moved from one room to another after their owners returned home. I began to apply to military headquarters to get back our apartment. I didn’t go to work and had sufficient time to spend on it. I went to see commanding officer and we received a nice big room in a communal apartment [13] for three families in a house in Pirogovskaya Street. Our co-tenants were decent people and we got along well. In 1951 my second son was born. We named him Yevgeni. He was a weak and sickly boy.
In 1953, when Stalin died, I cried. His full height portrait was installed in Kulikovo Pole [a town square near the railway station]. I saw this portrait and burst into tears. It seemed to me then that this was the end of our life.

Almost every summer we spent vacations with our parents. My children enjoyed spending time with their grandfather and grandmother. In the middle of the 1960s Ida’s family and my father and mother moved to Tashkent. It took me a long time to find a job. Health care department in Odessa told me there were no vacancies for me.
I wrote requests to the ministry in Kiev. They replied there was nothing they could do to help me.
In 1954 my older son Mikhail went to school #59 near our house. He did well at school, but he stuttered when speaking. In 1958 I took him to Kiev to consult a professor who was an expert in stuttering. Mikhail’s reading improved after this. I also had an appointment with Deputy Health Minister asking him to help me get a job. Deputy Minister was a sympathetic person. He gave me a letter addressed to Odessa regional health care department requesting them to help me with employment as I was an officer’s wife. Odessa department offered me a job in Illichevsk [14]. It was difficult to work there. Regular buses were rare and I had to commute on random traffic. It took a lot of my time. We sent my younger son Mikhail to a kindergarten, but he refused to attend it and we had to hire a babysitter while I worked in Illichevsk for about half year. Then I was offered to take up a vacancy of neuropathologist in district polyclinic #5. The polyclinic occupied a part of a building in Deribassovskaya Street.

In 1962 my older son Mikhail went to school 116. This was a popular school of physics and mathematic in Odessa. Mikhail had all excellent grades and successfully passed an interview and was admitted to this school. My younger son Yevgeni studied in school #90 that taught subjects in Ukrainian and German. In 1965 Mikhail finished school #116 with a gold medal [with honors] and went to Moscow. He entered the Mathematic Faculty of Moscow State University.

In 1966, after an earthquake in Tashkent, my husband and I took my parents to Odessa. At first I rented an apartment for them, but it happened to be very damp. Even photographs turned gray and there was mould on the shoes. Well, they moved in with us and we lived in one room in our communal apartment. I separated their quarters with a wardrobe. We lived thus for two years. In 1968 we received a new four-room apartment. When my parents moved to Odessa I bought them matzah and Jewish calendars in the synagogue in Peresyp [industrial neighborhood in the outskirts of Odessa]. I tried to do my housework in the evening to do no work on Saturday.

After the Great Patriotic War my brother Iosif served near Leningrad. When military staff was reduced in the early 1960s he moved to Moscow. He remarried there. His wife Sopha is a dentist. They had a daughter named Ludmila and a son named Boria. Iosif died in 2002.

In early 1966 my sister Ida decided to move to Tashkent where her children had moved by the middle of the 1960s and had their own families. Her daughter Raya graduated from the French Faculty of Tashkent University. She is married to a Jewish man. Her family name is Shtramel. They have two sons. Raya’s husband was a construction manager. Their son Marcus finished a technical college in Tashkent. He is married and has two children. Marcus was chief of highway department in Tashkent. My sister Ida died in Tashkent in 1983 at the age of 76 and was buried in the Jewish cemetery. She was buried in her clothes, but there came a Jewish old man who recited a prayer at home and in the cemetery. Her death was hard on her husband Petia Mostovoy. He lived 10 years longer, but his mental health failed him. He began to slender on his children and submitted a claim to militia stating that his children were going to leave him. They showed documents that he was going to Israel with them. They moved to Israel in 1992, but some time later Petia jumped out of the window.

Hana Krutianskaya, the widow of my deceased brother Moisey, and her children returned to Odessa from evacuation to their previous apartment in Malaya Arnautskaya Street. Moisey’s son Bencion Krupnik finished the Industrial Automation College in Odessa and got married. He had a son. In August 1974 he moved to Israel with his family. He lives with his family near Haifa. He is a pensioner. He has two children: son Mikhail and daughter Mirrah, born in Israel. Her daughter was born this (2003) year. The second generation already was born in Israel. Bencion visits his mother in Odessa every year. His sister Tamara finished a medical school and married a Jewish man. Her surname after her husband is Zolotaryova. Her husband is director of a plant. They live in Odessa. Hana, my brother Moisey’s wife, lives in the same apartment as before the Great Patriotic War

My parents were growing older. My life became very hard. I often failed to have breakfast before going to work. I had to cook for my parents for a whole day. My mother was bedridden and needed special care. My father had to serve her food. My mother died on 22 June 1973. My mother was buried according to Jewish customs. A Russian woman, married to a Jewish man, made a cerement for my mother. I brought a black cover from the synagogue. When my mother died my father recited the Kaddish. I also hired a Jewish man from the synagogue. Ten months later, at the same time, hour and minute, at 4 o’clock 20 minutes, on 22 April 1974 my father Srul Krupnik died. I heard him saying in Jewish; ‘God bless the children, blessed be my children’. I called my husband. My father said: ‘Don’t give me any medications. I already want to die’. He turned his face away and died. My father lived 93 years and one week. He was buried in the Jewish cemetery according to Jewish traditions. I brought a special cloth from the synagogue. A Jewish old man came from the synagogue and we also invited our close friend’s father, a Jew. My father had two tallits, one was trimmed with silver. Another one was an old tallit where my father wrote ‘Funeral tallit’. We put both tallits in his cerement.

When our children grew older we traveled a lot with them. My husband and our son Zhenia [nickname of Yevgenii] went to Kaliningrad (today Russia), Riga (today Latvia) and Yalta. My husband spent his vacations in a military recreation center in Riga while he was on military service. I also went there alone and with my son Zhenia. I traveled to Minsk (today Byelarus), Brest (today Byelarus), Leningrad (today Russia). We liked going to the theaters: Opera Theater and Russian and Ukrainian Drama Theaters. There were interesting performances. We often visited friends. There were two-three families living in our neighborhood: the Goldshteins and Chizhyks, but on holidays I had gatherings of about 20 people at home. We celebrated New Year with our children at my old friend Yuzef Chizhyk’s home. We were very good friends. We went to the cinema together. Mr. Goldshtein had a car. We went to the cinema and out of the town together. We particularly liked the house of culture of the Polytechnic College, they always showed new movies there.

After graduation from the University my older son Mikhail stayed in Moscow. He got a job offer to work in a scientific research institute. He defended his candidate’s dissertation [15]. Mikhail married his co-student Galina Grinberg. Galina was from Moscow. She had a Russian mother and a Jewish father. In 1974 their first son Anton was born and four years later in 1978 their son Sergey was born. I spent my vacations in Moscow where I went to stay with my grandchildren for a number of years. When my grandchildren grew older they came to spend their vacations with us in Odessa. We used to rent a dacha [summer cottage] at the seashore. Now I already have a great grandson Denis, my grandson Anton’s son. Galina lectures on mathematic in the Pedagogical College. Mikhail continues to work in his scientific research institute. He also works as a programmer for a private Canadian company.

After finishing school in 1968, my younger son Yevgeni finished a preparatory course in the College of Public Economy. He simultaneously started work at the factory of manuals to be able to enter an evening department of the Financial College. We were concerned that being a Jew he might have problems with entering a regular daytime department. State anti-Semitism was quite strong in Odessa at that time. He finished his College in 1975 and works as a programmer in Odessa Standardization, Metrology and Certification Center. He is single. My son was subject to awards for brilliant performance several times. At the 100th anniversary of this center in 2002 he was awarded a memorable medal for good work.

I always liked my work. There was a good staff in our polyclinic. I never faced any anti-Semitism. We celebrated all holidays together. We celebrated 23 February (Soviet Army Day) [16] and 8 March (International Women’s Day). I took advanced teachers’ training twice: in Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk. My husband Semyon retired in 1988, but continued working part-time for some time. I retired in 1990, when I turned 70. I missed going to work. I sometimes feel jealous when I see people in white robes. We recently sorted out our correspondence: there were many greeting cards from my patients. Although I retired they kept sending me cards on New Year and 8 March. I don’t know whether I was a good doctor: neuropathology is a difficult science, but I was always eager to help my patients and did a lot of good with my kind and careful attitude toward them.

In 1992 my sister Ida’s daughter Raya and her family moved to Israel. I went to Tashkent to say good bye to them. About half year later Ida’s son Marcus moved there. I went to Moscow to say good bye to them. Raya and her family live in Lod, Israel. Raya’s husband who worked a manager in Tashkent, is a guard in a kindergarten. Raya’s son works for an Arabic owner of a construction company. His wife confirmed her medical qualifications in Israel and works as a doctor. Alik’s son is in the army. He comes home on Saturday. Raya’s second son failed to get adjusted in Israel. He moved to Moscow where he married a Russian woman. He has a daughter. Marcus Mostovoy cleans streets in Israel. He doesn’t know Ivrit. He jokes that this must be some anti-Semitic language if he cannot learn it.

In 1994 Raya sent me money for a ticket to Israel. I went to visit her. When I got off my plane and breathed in the smell of oranges it felt like smelling acacia trees in Odessa. I couldn’t breathe in enough of this air. It was a sunny day and my relatives came to meet me at the airport. I have many impressions about Israel. Once I heard somebody singing at 2 in the morning: “Mazl tov, mazl tov” [in Ivrit ‘Wish you happiness!’]. They were greeting somebody in a neighboring house dancing and singing. We do not have such late celebrations. At 10 in the evening there are many people shopping in Lod. I admired it. However, every morning there were announcements about explosions on bus stops and people dead. I traveled to Jerusalem once and then I never went on tours again. I thought I had to return home alive. I met with my childhood friend Rachil in Israel. She married Mr. Koch, a Polish Jews, in evacuation. After the Great Patriotic War they lived in Lvov, then they moved to Poland and from there they came to Israel. Rachil has two sons. Her older son is a violinist. He lives in Holland. Her younger son is a programmer and lives in Israel. We’ve kept in touch through the recent years. Rachil and I spoke until 4 o’clock in the morning. We laughed a lot recalling our childhood in Dzygovka and our friends.
I’ve never been interested in politics and did not care about perestroika [17]. Our material status didn’t change to worse, but we got more freedoms.
The rebirth of Jewish life in Odessa began in the 1990s. Gemilut Hesed, this Jewish charity center, began its activities. My husband and I receive food packages from this center. There is a club ‘The front brotherhood’ of veterans of the war in Gemilut Hesed.
We have gatherings twice a week. There are over 100 members in this club. Most of them are invalids of the war. There are very interesting people among them. I also received a status of veteran of the war: so many of my patients returned to the front line. It means I also made my contribution during the war. The Maodon club operates in Gemilut Hesed on Sundays. Interesting people get together at this club. They invite actors, writers and poets.
There is also a library where I borrow books. I try to celebrate Sabbath and do no work on Saturday. On some holidays my husband and I go to the synagogue. I light memorial candles for our deceased and lost dear ones.


[1] Great Patriotic War: On 22nd June 1941 at 5 o’clock in the morning Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union without declaring war. This was the beginning of the so-called Great Patriotic War. The German blitzkrieg, known as Operation Barbarossa, nearly succeeded in breaking the Soviet Union in the months that followed. Caught unprepared, the Soviet forces lost whole armies and vast quantities of equipment to the German onslaught in the first weeks of the war. By November 1941 the German army had seized the Ukrainian Republic, besieged Leningrad, the Soviet Union's second largest city, and threatened Moscow itself. The war ended for the Soviet Union on 9th May 1945.

[2] NEP: The so-called New Economic Policy of the Soviet authorities was launched by Lenin in 1921. It meant that private business was allowed on a small scale in order to save the country ruined by the Revolution of 1917 and the Russian Civil War. They allowed priority development of private capital and entrepreneurship. The NEP was gradually abandoned in the 1920s with the introduction of the planned economy.

[3] Collective farm (in Russian kolkhoz): In the Soviet Union the policy of gradual and voluntary collectivization of agriculture was adopted in 1927 to encourage food production while freeing labor and capital for industrial development. In 1929, with only 4% of farms in kolkhozes, Stalin ordered the confiscation of peasants' land, tools, and animals; the kolkhoz replaced the family farm.

[4] Kirov, Sergey (born Kostrikov) (1886-1934): Soviet communist. He joined the Russian Social Democratic Party in 1904. During the Revolution of 1905 he was arrested; after his release he joined the Bolsheviks and was arrested several more times for revolutionary activity. He occupied high positions in the hierarchy of the Communist Party. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, as well as of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee. He was a loyal supporter of Stalin. In 1934 Kirov's popularity had increased and Stalin showed signs of mistrust. In December of that year Kirov was assassinated by a younger party member. It is believed that Stalin ordered the murder, but it has never been proven.

[5] Famine in Ukraine: In 1920 a deliberate famine was introduced in the Ukraine causing the death of millions of people. It was arranged in order to suppress those protesting peasants who did not want to join the collective farms. There was another dreadful deliberate famine in 1930-1934 in the Ukraine. The authorities took away the last food products from the peasants. People were dying in the streets, whole villages became deserted. The authorities arranged this specifically to suppress the rebellious peasants who did not want to accept Soviet power and join collective farms.

[6] Rabfak: Educational institutions for young people without secondary education, specifically established by the Soviet power.

[7] Komsomol: Communist youth political organization created in 1918. The task of the Komsomol was to spread of the ideas of communism and involve the worker and peasant youth in building the Soviet Union. The Komsomol also aimed at giving a communist upbringing by involving the worker youth in the political struggle, supplemented by theoretical education. The Komsomol was more popular than the Communist Party because with its aim of education people could accept uninitiated young proletarians, whereas party members had to have at least a minimal political qualification.

[8] Great Terror (1934-1938): During the Great Terror, or Great Purges, which included the notorious show trials of Stalin's former Bolshevik opponents in 1936-1938 and reached its peak in 1937 and 1938, millions of innocent Soviet citizens were sent off to labor camps or killed in prison. The major targets of the Great Terror were communists. Over half of the people who were arrested were members of the party at the time of their arrest. The armed forces, the Communist Party, and the government in general were purged of all allegedly dissident persons; the victims were generally sentenced to death or to long terms of hard labor. Much of the purge was carried out in secret, and only a few cases were tried in public ‘show trials’. By the time the terror subsided in 1939, Stalin had managed to bring both the Party and the public to a state of complete submission to his rule. Soviet society was so atomized and the people so fearful of reprisals that mass arrests were no longer necessary. Stalin ruled as absolute dictator of the Soviet Union until his death in March 1953.

[9] Bessarabia: Historical area between the Prut and Dnestr rivers, in the southern part of Odessa region. Bessarabia was part of Russia until the Revolution of 1917. In 1918 it declared itself an independent republic, and later it united with Romania. The Treaty of Paris (1920) recognized the union but the Soviet Union never accepted this. In 1940 Romania was forced to cede Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the USSR. The two provinces had almost 4 million inhabitants, mostly Romanians. Although Romania reoccupied part of the territory during World War II the Romanian peace treaty of 1947 confirmed their belonging to the Soviet Union. Today it is part of Moldavia.

[10] Kursk battle: The greatest tank battle in the history of World War II, which began on 5th July 1943 and ended eight days later. The biggest tank fight, involving almost 1,200 tanks and mobile cannon units on both sides, took place in Prokhorovka on 12th July and ended with the defeat of the German tank unit.

[11] Forced deportation to Siberia and Central Asia: Stalin introduced the deportation of some people, like the Crimean Tatars and the Chechens, to Siberia and Central Asia. Without warning, people were thrown out of their houses and into vehicles at night. The majority of them died on the way of starvation, cold and illnesses.

[12] Domanevka: District town in Odessa region. Hundreds of thousands Jews were exterminated in the camp located in this town during the war.

[13] Communal apartment: The Soviet power wanted to improve housing conditions by requisitioning ‘excess’ living space of wealthy families after the Revolution of 1917. Apartments were shared by several families with each family occupying one room and sharing the kitchen, toilet and bathroom with other tenants. Because of the chronic shortage of dwelling space in towns shared apartments continued to exist for decades. Despite state programs for the construction of more houses and the liquidation of shared apartments, which began in the 1960s, shared apartments still exist today.

[14] Illichevsk: Port on the Black Sea, 25 km from Odessa; became a town in 1973.

[15] Soviet/Russian doctorate degrees: Graduate school in the Soviet Union (aspirantura, or ordinatura for medical students), which usually took about 3 years and resulted in a dissertation. Students who passed were awarded a 'kandidat nauk' (lit. candidate of sciences) degree. If a person wanted to proceed with his or her research, the next step would be to apply for a doctorate degree (doktarontura). To be awarded a doctorate degree, the person had to be involved in the academia, publish consistently, and write an original dissertation. In the end he/she would be awarded a 'doctor nauk' (lit. doctor of sciences) degree.

[16] Soviet Army Day: The Russian imperial army and navy disintegrated after the outbreak of the Revolution of 1917, so the Council of the People's Commissars created the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army on a voluntary basis. The first units distinguished themselves against the Germans on February 23, 1918. This day became the ‘Day of the Soviet Army’ and is nowadays celebrated as ‘Army Day’.

[17] Perestroika (Russian for restructuring): Soviet economic and social policy of the late 1980s, associated with the name of Soviet politician Mikhail Gorbachev. The term designated the attempts to transform the stagnant, inefficient command economy of the Soviet Union into a decentralized, market-oriented economy. Industrial managers and local government and party officials were granted greater autonomy, and open elections were introduced in an attempt to democratize the Communist Party organization. By 1991, perestroika was declining and was soon eclipsed by the dissolution of the USSR.