Hana Rayzberg and her mother Debora Edelstein

This is my mother Debora Edelstein and I. We were photographed at home shortly after Mama moved to Riga in 1950.

I finished my school with honors and before getting a job assignment I was offered to go to the Leningrad College of Light Industry. This was a very tempting offer, but I was reluctant to leave Mama alone for so long. I wanted to stay in Riga. I got a job assignment at the sewing factory. I worked as a shift forewoman in the sewing shop. I also received a small room - eight square meters - in the attic with no heating, gas or water. The front door of the room led to the staircase. There was a wood-stoked stove in the kitchen. However, this was at least some lodging. I convinced Mama to move in with me. Mama had poor sight. The staircase was very steep, and she had to make a strong effort to climb it, but we were happy to be together. We accepted life as it was.

We observed Jewish traditions after we returned from the evacuation. The Soviet regime fought against religion, but we didn’t think about it. We had Jewish traditions in our blood. Of course, we couldn’t follow the kashrut according to all the rules, but we tried our best. We also celebrated Jewish holidays and tried to have traditional Jewish food on our table, even if we had to replace gefilte fish with potato pudding. We always had matzah on Pesach.