Dina Falkova and Hannah Borovika

This is a picture of my mother, Dina Falkova, nee Borovika and my grandmother Hannah Borovika. The photo was taken in Ludza in 1916, on the day my mother finished the Teacher Training College in Orsha.

My mother was born in Ludza on 23rd May 1899. She was called Dulce in her childhood. She, just like my father, left her home when she was young. After finishing elementary school in Ludza, she gained admission to a high school in Daugavapils [until 1917 it belonged to the Province of Vitebsk, now it belongs to Latvia]. My mother was admitted, and although she was sent some money, she earned a living by teaching and by darning socks very artistically: she got one kopeck for each hole she mended.

My mother graduated from a teacher training course in Orsha [until 1917 it belonged to the Province of Vitebsk, now it belongs to Belarus]. She was small with long braids. My mother's class-mates told me about her first teaching practice - the school-inspector looked into the class-room and went to the principal in indignation. 'Why do you leave a class without a teacher?!', he said. In that class, my mother was the teacher. My mother was more of a teacher than a mathematician. She transmitted a love of her subject to the children. She nurtured the human side of the children.