Helena Epshtein

This is my mother, Hene Epshtein. The photo was taken in Liepaja in 1927. My mother's name was Hene, according to her passport, though we called her Helena. She was born in 1889. She studied very little, as there were eleven children in her family. At best she finished the fourth grade. My mom was naturally cultured. My parents got married very late and had three children. My parents weren?t rich, but middle-class. For example, we had a three-room apartment with everything for the five of us. We lived very well. They rented space from the landlords and in the back room mother sewed various women's clothing, dresses, and undergarments on a Singer-model machine and father sold them. This little shop was near the market. Their clientele was practically village people, in other words plain folk. Thus, mother didn't sew anything extravagant. She sewed practical things. When the Germans took away my father and shot him, it was horrible, but my brothers and I still had our mother, and she protected us. We moved into the ghetto, where we were for a year. When they took our mother away, that's when things got truly unbearable. How I miss her!