Bertha Trachtenbroit with her mother Rosalia Trachtenbroit and her brother Leonid Trachtenberg

Bertha Trachtenbroit with her mother Rosalia Trachtenbroit and her brother Leonid Trachtenberg

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I with my mother and my brother in Odessa in 1939. The photograph was made before my brother went to study at the Higher Navy College in Sevastopol.

My mother didn't remarry after our father left. She spent all her time with us. She wanted her children to get a higher education. In 1939 my brother finished secondary school. He was very fond of literature. He read a lot and composed poems. He was going to enter the Philology Faculty at the university. However, my brother and his classmate Mikhail Shichtman were requested to come to the military registry office where they were offered to go to the Navy College. This was the so-called Voroshylov admission. For the sake of their future career they couldn't refuse this offer. They both entered the Higher Navy College in Sevastopol and finished 2 years before 1941 when the war began. Two or three days before the war started my brother's training boat stopped in Odessa and we managed to see him. He came home for the last time in the evening of 21 June 1941 (just before the war started in the USSR).

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Interviewee

Bertha Trachtenbroit