Baby Pisetskaya and her sister Shelia Pisetskaya

This is a picture of my sister Shelia Pisetskaya, on the right, and me. The photo was taken in Kursk in 1935. I was born on 16th May 1924 and my younger sister Shelia was born on 13th April 1926. I have bright memories about the years that we spent in Uman. We all lived in Grandfather Menachem's house. I remember going to the Sophievka park in Uman with my parents and Shelia. My father also took us to Puscha-Voditsa in Kiev where I saw a train for the first time in my life. I went to a Ukrainian school in the center of town in 1930 at the age of six. I became a Young Octobrist at this school. In 1933, during the period of the famine, I fell ill with typhoid. To be able to buy medicines and more food for me, my parents took their silverware to the Torgsin store. My father had to give his barbershop to the state. He couldn't keep it because of the high taxes. Then my mother had twisted bowels. She had a surgery and had to stay in hospital for a long while. In 1934 my father took my mother to the Kuyalnik recreation center in Odessa. My sister Shelia and I stayed with my mother's sisters Rachil and Luba who lived in Kursk. In 1935 my parents sold their house in Uman and we moved to Kursk. My sister and I studied in a secondary school. My sister studied French and I studied German at school. I attended an artistic embroidery club and wrote poems. I was a pioneer and attended a club in the House of Pioneers. I sang with a string orchestra. I liked singing and got invitations to sing on the radio and in concerts. Our string orchestra gave concerts at kolkhozes and factories. Shelia and I had many Jewish and Russian friends. We didn't care about nationality: there was no anti-Semitism in Kursk before the war. My sister and I and our friends went to swim in the river, celebrated Soviet holidays and went to parades. There were many gatherings in our apartment. My friends from the orchestra visited me. We sang, danced and had a lot of fun.