Galina Shkolnikova with her family

This picture shows my family in Leningrad in 1981. My son Mikhail was admitted to the pioneer organization and we went to have our picture taken. It was a significant day for us, because to become a pioneer was very important at that time. I am on the left, next to me is my daughter Lyuba, my son Mikhail and my husband Alexander is on the right. I got married rather late, in 1970, when I was already 31. We had a secular wedding at home, with our friends and some relatives present. My husband was born in 1933 in Leningrad. He graduated from the Leningrad Ship-Building Institute as an electrical engineer in 1957 and started to work at Gidropribor CIHD [Central Institute of Hydraulic-Engineering Devices]. He worked there all his life. I always had good relations with my husband's mother and his relatives. When we got married, they gave us a one-bedroom cooperative apartment. Our son, Mikhail, was born there in 1971, and our daughter, Lyuba, followed in 1976. In the same year we moved in with my parents. We exchanged our one-bedroom apartment and two rooms of my parents in a communal apartment for a separate three-bedroom apartment. We always got on well. My husband was a very nice man. He was known for his kindness, obligation and tenderness, and he never let anybody down. If he understood that his assistance was required, he always helped without waiting for a request. He was an optimist. I was always afraid of something bad to happen. He always calmed me down, saying 'Everything will be fine!' or 'Don't be afraid, we'll break through!' Alexander collected stamps and postcards. He liked old German movies and Charlie Chaplin, and he collected old books of the 'Life in Art' series about famous Hollywood actors. I collected books about artists. Our children didn't get traditional Jewish upbringing, though they identify themselves as Jews . Their mother and father are Jews, and they consider themselves Jews too, not from a religious but from a nationality point of view. Traditional Jewish customs were never observed at home and we only celebrated Soviet holidays: 7th November - the Day of the October Revolution, 1st May - the Day of the Workers' Solidarity, 8th March - Women's Day, and so on.