Efim Zhornitskiy with his classmates and teachers
I and my classmates. I am the fourth on the left in the first row. The photo was made in Tulchin in 1932 after we finished the 7th form.
In 1926 when I was 7, my mother's sister Rachel took me to the exam at a Ukrainian school. She was an advanced woman for her time and believed that I had to study in a Ukrainian school so that I could get a higher education. She knew people at the admission commission and managed to convince them to admit me to the school. Through the first two years I had big problems with the Ukrainian language, as I had only spoken Yiddish before. I had to spend two years in the 2nd form, but it was for my benefit. My teacher Olga Petrovna Utkina, a great pedagogue and a nice person, helped me to become one of the most successful pupils in my class. Our schoolmates used to get together at our home. We studied together, played or had discussions. Our neighbors said that our parents were very special. They didn't mind our getting together. We were all good at swimming. We played football, skied and skated. We were also very fond of chess. We hardly ever had any arguments.