Feivl Stein with his friend

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To the left is father's brother Feivl Stein with his friend, whose name I do not know. The picture was made before war in 1939 in Siauliai.

I knew my father's family very well. My paternal grandparents came to Siauliai in 1910. They were from small town Vaskiai. My grandpa Shneer Shtein and grandmother Ester were distant relatives. Jews used to have marriages with distant relatives. At any rate, grandmother's last name was also Shtein. Grandpa was very handsome, and grandmother Ester was not attractive at all, even homely. It was not just my impression from childhood. Their polar appearance was discussed by adults all the time and I remember it. Nevertheless, they were not bonded only by children. I think they loved each other. I do not remember a single time when grandpa would hurt grandma or treat her with disrespect.

Shneer was born in 1870s. He was a tall and handsome man, with neat moustache (which aristocratic Lithuanians used to have. The latter mocked at long untidy khasid beards and considered themselves European. I think my grandpa only finished cheder or elementary Jewish school. Grandpa was a glazer. I remember perfectly well that every morning (we lived in one house, but in different apartments) grandpa Shneer left for work carrying on his shoulders a heavy box with glass. If the day was lucky, he came home to take more glass and have a lunch, which was served by grandmother Ester. She was a stout lady, which was about 10 years younger than him.

Grandpa Shneer was a true head of the Jewish family. He had his place at the head of the table, which was not taken by anybody. Lunch never started without grandpa. Almost all children worked. Every Friday ( at that time salary was paid weekly) grandpa sat at the head of the table and all children gave him the money the earned. Grandpa took care of family budget and grandmother submitted to him unconditionally. Shneer loved, us grandchildren, very much and gave a little bit of money every Friday.

My father was the eldest. He was born in 1904. His brothers were Feivl, Sholom and Meishe and sisters Feige and Recha. Feiga was born after father. Recha was born after Feige. The next was son Feivl, born in 1912. He worked at the plant. He got married 1938, the same year when Recha was married. I also remember his wedding. His beautiful wife Rasl was from small town Linkuv. In 1939 she gave birth to son Abram. During the war Feivl and Rasl died in evacuation, and their son Abram survived it. He is still alive and healthy.

Photo details

Interviewee

Boris Shteinas