Aba Pagirskiy and his family

Aba Pagirskiy and his family

This is our family: in the center is my grandfather Avel Pagirskiy, to the left from him is grandmother Sarah. To the right is mother's sister Masha Granevich, her nephews Eliahu and Aria Shlapoberskiys. In the second row the first girl to the right is Masha's daughter Nehama Granevich, next to her is her sister Hanna Granevich. The fourth row from the bottom - to the left is Frida Shlapoberskaya, next to her is Masha's daughter Ester Granevich. In the top row standing: Boris Shlapoberskiy, Bluma's husband- Jacob Epstein, my mother Taube Yudelevich and my father Abram Yudelevich, the picture was made in Jonava in the 1920s.

My maternal grandfather Aba (he was called Avel in the family, so I used to hear that name oftener) Pagirskiy was born in 1866. Avel owned a rather large house on one of the central Jonava streets. It was a solid log house, which could stand for centuries. Avel was a well-to-do merchant. He owned a large hardware store as hardware goods were in demand. 

My grandmother Sarah Pagirskaya, nee Krasko was born in 1865. Sarah was a rather educated woman. She could read and write in Yiddish and Russian. She spoke Polish. Her Lithuanian was not good though. Sarah ran the house as grandparents had servants. Grandmother was a tall, buxom, stately woman- a true beauty. She and grandfather had their own honored seats in the synagogue. Avel and Sarah were rather religious, trying to keep Jewish traditions. Avel and Sarah often went abroad on vacation. 

Sarah and Avel Pagirskiys had ten children. All of them got an excellent for those times  education in lyceum. They were literate and cultured people. When children grew up, they were not religious, like their parents merely sticking to the traditions and marking Jewish holidays. I did not know two daughters -Hava and another one, whose name was unknown to me. They died infants. There were five daughters out of the eight who reached adulthood. The eldest was Masha, born in 1887. Masha married a Jew Reuben Leib Granevich. I do not know what he did for a living, but he was rather well-off. Masha had three daughters. The eldest Ester, born in 1908 left for Vienna to study. There she married Italian Jew Gulyemo and had lived with him happily ever after in Paris. They had several children. Masha's younger daughters Nadya (Jewish name Nehama) and Anna (Hanna)being unmarried left for Palestine in the 1930s. Both of them got married there. 

The next daughter was Frida, born in 1890. Her husband Boris Shlapoberskiy was rather feeble. He had heart trouble, which could not be cured. Boris died in 1935. He was a pretty wealthy man. He owned a house in Kaunas and Tel-Aviv. Frida lived in Kaunas several years before Great Patriotic War. When on the first of September 1939 fascists unleashed war beginning with the occupation of Poland, she left Lithuania for Palestine that very day. Frida had lived a long life and died in Tel-Aviv in 1970. Two sons lived in France- Aria, born in 1913 and Eliahu born in 1915. Both of them got an excellent education in Europe. 

My mother's sister Bluma was born in 1904. Bluma's husband Jacob Epstein was an expert electrician engineer. He had lived and worked in France for couple of years with his family. He was involved in lineup of high-voltage power lines. Bluma had daughter Anna, born in 1930. In 1937 their younger daughter Dalia was born. Jacob was a very gifted man. He was fond of theatre. He had the main parts in town Jewish amateur theatre.

My mother Tauber Pagirskaya was born in 1898. Mother got a good education at Russian Commercial Lyceum. Upon graduation mother lived with her parents before getting married. She did not work. 

My father entered Tomsk university [about 3000 km from Moscow]. Father studied there for couple of years and got transferred to Yekaterinburg [Russia, 1500 km from Moscow], where he graduated juridical department. Father came back to the motherland in 1918 right after Lithuania became independent [Lithuanian independence]. In couple of years, namely in 1923 father proposed to mother.

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