Ilya Halperin with his parents and siblings

This is a picture of my father, Ilya Halperin (first from right in third row), his parents Riva Halperin, nee Kadishevich (second from left in second row) and Moshe Halperin (first from left) and my father's brothers and sisters. The photo was taken in Dvinsk in 1909. My grandfather Moshe founded a weaving factory in Dvinsk in 1877. [Dvinsk, today Daugavpils, was a part of Vitebsk province then.] According to family legend my grandfather came to Dvinsk on foot from some small Lithuanian village and built the first weaving machine with his own hands. He was a very talented person. His five children weren't like him. They all received higher education and couldn't do anything with their hands. They couldn't put their minds to anything. My grandfather probably lived somewhere near because he married Riva and they moved to Dvinsk. Their entire family lived in Dvinsk until 1915. In 1915 they were taken to Pavlovski Posad, near Moscow, with the factory. Jews were first evicted from Kurlandia and then from Dvinsk. My grandfather died in 1930, and my grandmother stayed in Riga with her younger children, her younger sons and their wives, on 61 Lachplesha Street. It wasn't that she lived with her children, but rather that they lived with her! My grandmother was a very authoritative person. She survived the war; she was evacuated to Semipalatinsk with us. My father's younger brother took his wife, children and my grandmother there. He himself was at the front. My closest relatives survived. My father was born in 1891. Papa became a widower with two kids at that time. He was a very handsome young man and my mother married him. All her aunts were trying to talk her out of doing it. But she didn't listen to them. That's how Mum entered this Latgalian family, which spoke Yiddish and Russian. The result of this interlacing of Kurlandian and Latgalian roots was that they spoke German and Russian. My mother didn't know a word of Yiddish, she only spoke German. And everybody used to make fun of her.

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Lia German