Fania Brantsovskaya and her family

This picture was taken in Varena in 1926, when we went there on a visit. Standing and wearing a kippah is my grandfather Bencion Galunskiy, I am standing beside him, wearing a wreath, my grandmother Hana-Leya Galunskaya is standing on the right, and sitting from left to right are my mother's brother Motl Galunskiy, my mama Rohl Joheles, nee Galunskaya and her brother Yitzhok Galunskiy. Our Lithuanian neighbor kept this photo and our other belongings during the occupation. My mother came from the town of Varena at the border of Lithuania and Poland. My mother's father was born in the 1870s. He worked at the local carton factory. He also dealt in beer wholesales. He owned a warehouse where he had beer stocks. Grandmother Hana-Leya was a housewife. The Galunskiy family celebrated Jewish holidays and went to the synagogue. They also raised their children to respect traditions. However, the children were a new generation, growing up during World War I and the Revolution in Russia in 1917. Almost all of their children became atheists. In 1938 Bencion and Hana-Leya moved to Palestine: their son and daughter had settled down there before them. Therefore, my maternal grandfather and grandmother escaped falling victims to fascists like my father's parents and the majority of Lithuanian Jews. They died in the 1960s and were buried in the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Their grandchildren visit their grave each year. My mother's youngest brothers, Motl and Yitzhok, lived in Kaunas. Motl became an electric mechanic. Yitzhok was a building contractor. Motl and Yitzhok had one daughter each. Motl and his family perished during the Great Patriotic War.