Galina Levina and Mikhail Makhover

This is a photo of me, Galina Markman, when I was a little girl, and my beloved maternal grandfather, Mikhail Makhover. It was taken in the 1930s, before the Great Patriotic War, in Leningrad, where we lived all together with my parents and grandparents.

Grandfather gave me a lot in this life. He always talked to me just as if I were an adult, and he talked to me a lot. He taught me many truths, which are completely right for me till today. For example, he said that among two people arguing you should blame the cleverer one. I remember, even after the war, my grandparents lived in Ozerki, we walked for a long time, and when we came back, Grandmother went out to the courtyard and started to cry, ‘Oh, Mikhail, we worried so much. You left and took the child with you. You are an adult, you are old, and you took the child away.’ She had something in her hands, maybe, a towel and threw it at us. So Grandfather said, ‘Okay, let this woman rest a little, we’d better walk a bit more. She is tired, and we’ll be very quiet.’ His ‘don’t pay attention,’ his understanding… this is what he gave to me. Granny, of course, loved me very much, too; she even had a broche with my picture in it. And also she worried very much, because I was very small. She said, ‘Mikhail, what would happen, what would happen?’

Also I remember walking with Grandpa in a garden not far from ours and he said: ‘My dear, what can I say? Do you see these women? A man would do nothing for these tired women with bags and sacks. Do you know why this State will die? Because they destroy the family.’ So it happened. Or he started to discuss various women, ‘I should tell you that I never liked Parisians.’ – ‘And whom did you like?’ – ‘I liked Warsaw women the best, they are tall and stately. While those Parisians are small and dark…’