Galina Shkolnikova with her grandmother Doba Farber

This is me, when I was one and a half years old, and my grandmother Doba Yuliyevna Farber [nee Moina] in Leningrad. My grandmother was born in 1872. She became an orphan at an early age and was raised by her relatives. I don't know if she had brothers or sisters. She didn't have any education and took care of the household. Grandmother Doba and her daughters were keen on sewing and clothes-designing, besides keeping the household. They liked to wear beautiful and fashionable clothes. Aunt Rakhil and her daughter Eleonora still preserve this passion. My grandparents' mother tongue was Yiddish, but they spoke Russian in the family. They switched to Yiddish when they wanted to conceal something from the children or the maids. The boys studied Hebrew, probably in cheder. I don't know if the girls studied Hebrew. They all - grandfather, grandmother and their children - spoke very good Ukrainian. My grandparents were religious people. All Jewish traditions were observed and all holidays were celebrated in the family. After my grandfather's death my grandmother moved to her older daughter Sarah and helped her to raise her little son, who was born in 1931. In 1934 a tragedy happened. The boy went for a walk with his grandmother, was hit by a car and killed. After that my grandmother moved to her son, my father Idel, who lived in Leningrad. She lived with our family and died in besieged Leningrad at the end of 1941. I was born in 1938, and by the beginning of the war I was two and a half years old. I had no brothers or sisters. When the war broke out, I was very small and obviously didn't understand what was happening. When Leningrad was besieged and the Germans began to bomb it, people had to go to the bomb-shelters during the bombings. I lived with my grandmother and, as my mother told me later, I liked the bomb-shelter very much because a lot of children gathered there. So when I heard the air-raid warning signal, I began to jump and run cheerfully around the table. By the time my 80-year-old grandmother managed to catch and dress me, the bombings were over. As a result we stopped going to the bomb-shelter.