Ethe Feiman

This is my mother Ethe Feiman. This photo was taken for a passport in 1936 in Tartu. I had it enlarged and have kept it.

My parents got married in 1913. Their marriage was prearranged as they lived quite a distance from one another. They got married in Zagare and the Zagare rabbi registered their marriage. After they got married my mother moved in with her husband in Tartu. She became a housewife, which was quite common with married women at that time.

My older brother David, the oldest among all children, was born in 1914. In 1916 Abram was born. I was born in 1918, and my Jewish name is Dvora. Later I was addressed as Dora. My younger brother Iosif was born in 1920.

At first my parents rented a one-bedroom apartment in the center of the town. When I was born, this lodging became too small for the family, and we moved to a three-bedroom apartment in the same neighborhood. We lived there until the evacuation in 1941. Our family wasn't very wealthy. We had no property and my father worked for a living. However, my father provided well for the family. My mother could afford to have a housemaid to help her. Also, when the children were small, we had a nanny. I remember my nanny, an old German lady who had a small dog. I remember her taking my older brothers and me for a walk in the suburbs where there were no houses, but fields. Those were memorable adventures for us. After we started going to school, our nanny went to work for another family. The housemaid helped my mother with cleaning the house and washing dishes, while my mother did the cooking. There were no fridges and my mother bought food products at the market and cooked fresh meals every day. She observed the Jewish traditions. She followed the kashrut and cooked traditional Jewish food.