Abram Yudelevich and his family

This is our family on the porch of our house in Jonava. From left to right: mother's sisters Masha Granevich wearing a white blouse, in the bottom row to the right are Frida Shlapoberskaya and Bluma Epstein, next to them is their brother David Pagirskiy and my father Abram Yudelevich wearing a hat, then my cousins Aria Shlapoberskiy, Eliahu Shlapoberskiy standing and in the center my youngest brother David Yudelevich, the picture was made in 1927.

My mother’s sister Masha married a Jew Reuben Leib Granevich. I do not know what he did for a living, but he was rather well-off. Reuben Leib died several years before the outbreak of Great Patriotic War. Masha, being single by that time, remained in the occupation. She had lived in Kaunas ghetto and  in 1944 she was sent to Nazi concentration camp Stutthof along with the group of Jewish women. My aunt died there. Masha had three daughters. 

My mother Tauber Pagirskaya was born in 1898. Mother as well as her siblings got a good education at Russian Commercial Lyceum. Upon graduation mother lived with her parents before getting married. She did not work. I do not know exactly where my parents met. I think they knew each other when they were young. I have the picture of my young parents and mother's siblings, taken at the beginning of the 20th century by the boat, traveling to Jonava across river Neris. My parents got married in 1923. 

My mother’s sister 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. When the war was over, she got married again. Her second husband's name was Eremei Shochat. 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 brother David Pagirskiy was born in 1907. David married a Jew Maya Kanber. They lived in Kaunas not far from us. In 1937 daughter Ilan was born and in 1940 - Dalia. When Great Patriotic War was unleashed, David decided to stay in occupation. David perished in Kaunas ghetto. His wife Maya perished in concentration camp Stuttgof. The girls were rescued. They were taken out from ghetto by turns and sheltered in Lithuanian families.

My father was born in Jonava in 1894. He went to Russian lyceum in the town of Suwalki [Poland, 10 km away from the border of Lithuania and Poland and 170 km from Vilnius]. Upon graduation he went to Russia to enter the institute. I do not know how he happened to be in Siberia. He 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. Parents had never told anything about their wedding. I think it was carried out in accordance with Jewish traditions. At any rate before war at home there was parents' wedding certificate issued by the rabbi.