Asta Pekker’s grandmother, on my mother's side, Yelizaveta Iosiphovna Shwartzman

My grandmother on my mother's side, Yelizaveta Iosiphovna Shwartzman (nee - Lanee). This picture was taken in Berlin in 1925-30.

In 1907 or 1908 my grandfather Pyotr Borisovich Shwartzman left Warsaw for Petersburg taking with him or kidnapping, according to the family legend, Yelizaveta Lanee, his fiancee, future wife and my grandmother. Yelizaveta Osipovna Lanee, my grandfather's wife and my grandmother, was several yeas younger than my grandfather. At a time she was one of the most beautiful girls in Warsaw. Hers was a well-off orthodox Jewish family, and I believe, there was some kinship with the Brodskiys, well-known manufacturers. Her father and three brothers had tanneries and leather goods stores in Mongolia, Russia and Europe. According to the family legend, there also was a French branch in my grandmother's family. Her family name - Lanee, is another proof of it. In her childhood my grandmother received Jewish education at home, and then she went to high school, and that was an end of her studies. She was beloved wife and mother for the rest of her life. She had two children, and the older one was my mother.

Grandfather Pyotr and grandmother Lisa played a huge role in my upbringing before and after the war. I always called my grandfather "Papa Petia". I had a papa and Papa Petia. It became a habit in our family to call him thus.