Elkond Libman

Elkond Libman

This is a photo of my son Elkond Libman in his early childhood in Tallin in 1949.

In November 1947, I had a son. At first we wanted to name him Elhanon, after my father, but it sounded outdated, and my mother thought of a beautiful name for our baby boy: Elkond. After a year I was going to send our son into daycare and return to work, just like all other Soviet women, but my husband protested. He believed that the child had to be brought up by his mother at home. We could afford this because Simon made good money. He kept on working at the Ministry of Internal Affairs where he was appreciated and given a raise regularly. Our housing was improved as well. In 1948, instead of a small room in a communal apartment, we were offered two nice big rooms in a comfortable six-room apartment. In this new apartment we had only one family sharing it with us, and they were very good and respectable people. A few years later, we redesigned the apartment where we separated two rooms and lived there until 1977.

I took my son every summer to Parnu. This place has the warmest sea water along the Estonian coast. I always rented a room from the same landlady. Simon's annual leave was always in winter so he could visit us only on Sundays.

I managed to place my son in an Estonian kindergarten but it turned out that he wasn't ready for it. Elkond was four at the time but he was too attached to home. At the kindergarten he never cried but stood by the window all day waiting to be taken home. We had to hire a babysitter so he could stay home for one more year. At the age of five he went to the same kindergarten with great pleasure. He actually went to school later than other children, almost at the age of eight, because my husband couldn't bring himself to pull him out of the kindergarten.

Open this page