Eugenia Chapkowski with her younger sisters Bertha Blukher and Elsa Slonimskaya

Eugenia Chapkowski with her younger sisters Bertha Blukher and Elsa Slonimskaya

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This is a copy of a photo that had been lost. From left to right: my paternal grandmother Eugenia Chapkowski with her younger sisters, Bertha Blukher and Elsa Slonimskaya. This photo was taken in Tallinn in the 1890s.

My grandmother’s family had moved to Tallinn from Poland. My grandmother’s father’s name was Israel-Leib Chapkowski, and her mother’s name was Lea Chapkowski, nee Gordowski. My great-grandmother was born in 1867. They must have got married in Poland, but my grandmother and her two sisters were born in Tallinn.

My grandmother, Eugenia Chapkowski ,was born in 1888. She was the oldest of the three sisters. My grandmother’s sister Bertha was born in 1890, and Elsa was born in 1892. The sisters had nicknames. My grandmother Eugenia was ‘Smarty,’ Bertha was ‘Goody,’ and Elsa was ‘die Sheine,’ the ‘Beauty.’ They finished a gymnasium in Tallinn.

During the tsarist rule my grandmother’s sisters got married and moved to Moscow with their husbands. Bertha married Lazar Blukher, Elsa married Iosif Slonimski. After the revolution we lost whatever contacts with them. After getting married my grandmother was a housewife.

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Interviewee

Ester Vee