Haya Sasonko with friends

Haya Sasonko with friends

This is a photo of my mother Haya Peisakh and her friends taken in Beltsy in the 1920s.

On the reverse side of this snapshot there is an inscription in an unsteady teenager's hand: ‘Taken in summer, before I entered the 7th grade in school.’ Mother is third from the right, her friend Ida is second from right.

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.

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