This photo was taken in 1920s, in Bologoye or in Vishniy Volochek. Here you see me and part of my family:
my sister Sophia, my mother Zinaida and my father Matvey.
My parents got to know each other in the beginning of 1920s. That was the Civil War. My father was in army, he served in a sanitary company.
Their sanitary train went to Staraya Russa; father went for a walk, found the place, where they sold the kvass, and came inside the house.
Mother washed the floors; she interrupted the work, washed her hands and gave him some kvass. So they met, and began to talk.
Then, together with his unit, he left, but they continued to write each other. And, after he demobilized from army, mother went to Belarus, to that village, called Lipsk.
There they registered their relations in 1922, but the large Jewish wedding happened in Staraya Russa later, some when in 1923, even after my birth.
Probably, they didn't organize the wedding in Belarus, because they didn't have money to afford it. And my maternal parents were richer than paternal ones, and maybe mother asked her parents to help her with a big holiday.
The point is that after my birth my mother decided to go back at home to Staraya Russa to stay with her parents: she was bored in Lipsk because she was from a town, wore town clothes and, apparently, was a coquette, and Lipsk happened to be small peasant village, where nothing was going on. Then father came to Staraya Russa too.
I suppose, it could be late 1923 or something like that.
In 1926 my parents moved to Valdasi, where mother's sister Bertha together with her husband lived. There father got a job of regular employee in Prom cooperation [so-called Industrial cooperation, State unit of stores and small businesses].
We left Valdasi, when I was six, and my sister Sophia was something around three, e.g. in 1930. And settled in Bologoye, rented an apartment from a dentist: two rooms and a kitchen.
There was electricity and radio in the house, but we had to bring the water from outside. The kitchen was very cold, and there was a great demand for firewood to warm it up.
Father was a director of 'Koghsyrie' - small organization, part of Prom cooperation, where peasants from neighborhood villages brought skins. A man, responsible for roar materials worked there too, together with my father, who, as a matter of fact, only admitted the skins. The job was very little paid, we lived very modest.
We had neighbors, who worked on the railway and got better rations [food help for state employees], than my father. We mainly bought food and stuff on the market, then acquired a goat, a pig, chicken, and, for some period of time, even a cow, so we managed somehow.
Mother was unemployed: children on her shoulders, and no place to work in. She hated her profession of knit maker; sew only stocks and scarves from time to time, but, apparently, she didn't like to sew at all. I recall that once mother came and said: 'They sell cream crepe de Chine.
I want to buy it for the blouse'. And then me and Sophia, we took out our savings, and went to aunt Ghenya to get some money too and finally bought this fabric for Mom.