Chaim Grienblatt’s family

Chaim Grienblatt’s family

This is the family of my maternal great grandfather, Khaim Grienblatt.

His children are in the upper row from left to right: second - son Iosif; third - daughter Feiga; fourth - Polya, wife of son Boris; fifth - son Boris and sixth - Abram, husband of daughter Frida.

Middle row from left to right: second - my great grandfather Khaim; third - my great grandmother (I do not know her name); fourth - son Solomon; fifth - daughter Frida. The man, standing first from left in the upper row and the woman, sitting first in the middle row, are unknown to me. Probably, it is another son with his wife or a daughter with her husband.

Great grandfather is wearing his usual clothes. His loose jacket or a jersey is lapped over. All the others are also wearing standard secular clothes.

Lower row: grandchildren are sitting on the floor, I do not know their names.

I do not know what occasion this picture was taken on, but I know that it was taken in Orsha in 1939.

I know that my great grandfather Khaim Grienblatt and great grandmother - I do not remember her name - were born in Belarus, not far from Orsha [Orsha is a town in Vitebsk region, located in the North-Eastern part of the Belarus Republic, 700 km to the South of St. Petersburg].

Their children were also born there: sons Iosif, Boris and Solomon and daughters Gitl, Feiga and Frida. Gitl Khaimovna Grienblatt, my maternal grandmother, was born in 1893.

Grandmother's parents lived in Orsha almost all their lives. I was told that they were religious people observing traditions: kosher, Sabbath, celebrating traditional holidays and attending the synagogue.

In 1941 when the Great Patriotic War broke out, they managed to evacuate to the Sverdlovsk region in the Urals, at the very last moment before the Germans arrived [Sverdlovsk region was set up in 1934 in the Middle Urals, about 2,000 km to the East of St. Petersburg; in 1930-1940s large defense, machine-construction and metallurgical plants were build there, which played a very important part during the years of the Great Patriotic War].

They were provided lodging in a village. They could not work in the kolkhoz according to their age and health, that is why they lived very poorly.

They died of starvation as a matter of fact in 1942. They were buried there, in a common rural cemetery.

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