Haya Sasonko with a friend

This is my mother Haya Peisakh with her friend Ida.

My mother was born in 1910 in Beltsy in Bessarabia, which until 1918 belonged to Russia, and in 1918-1940, to Romania. I know about mother's childhood thanks to her certificate from the grammar school.

The certificate was given to mother as a pupil of a private Jewish grammar school in Beltsy. She entered the grammar school in August 1918 and completed her studies in July 1928.

In her youth mother had a close friend Ida Vulykh. She graduated from a conservatory in Romania. Aunt Ida compiled huge bibliographic volumes on musical composers of the whole world. It was a very hard job.

When she told me about her years of friendship with my mother she always mentioned that my mother was a very clever girl. My mother was a modern woman with a European education.

Right after graduation from the grammar school in 1928 mother went to Belgium and entered the University of Liege. She studied chemistry there.

We have a certificate of the Ministry of Science of Belgium, stating that mother passed entrance examinations to the university. In spite of the fact that mother was from a well-to-do family and her parents could pay for her studies, my mother earned additional means as a governess, an occupation that was quite common among students.

That was the time when she acquired her skills in cooking, sewing and housekeeping for her future life. Mother could do almost any work, and wasn't afraid of any challenges in her life.

She studied well, but the emigrants had no right to participate in revolutionary activity. She studied in Belgium for two years, from 1928 to 1930, and then was expelled for participation in students' disturbances.

In France the regulations were similar at that time, but she still decided to go to France. Mother entered the Chemistry Faculty of the University of Lyon and finished it in 1934.
We have her diploma as well.