Ivan Barbul, his wife Liana Degtiar with their friends Yefim and Bella Nilva

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This is me (1st on the right), my wife Liana Degtiar with my friends Yefim and Bella Nilva. This photo was taken in Odessa in 1998. We were photographed on 9th May, Victory Day, which we always celebrate with the Nilva family in Odessa or Kishinev. The Jewish life began to revive in Kishinev after perestroika in the 1990s. During the period of the USSR, an association of former Jewish and non-Jewish prisoners of ghettos and camps was established. Later, it fell apart and now I'm a member of the Jewish association. Later, Jewish organizations were established in Kishinev: the Jewish cultural center and the community center. Jews began to celebrate Jewish holidays together. The Jewish life particularly revived, when communists obtained the parliamentary majority in Moldova. I think the Jewish situation has improved. It wasn't that good before, when in many areas activities were separated from the rest of the population of Moldova. When the communists came to power, the Moldovans also started thinking about the victims of fascism. Our local Jewish newspaper, 'Yevreiskoe mestechko', wrote about the local amateur museum of Holocaust in Yedintsy. It is amazing that this museum was established by a Moldovan director of a local school. I think it's important since Jews have always been active citizens in Moldova: doctors, teachers and craftsmen. Now research work has been undertaken in other Moldovan towns where Jews were exterminated. They find the righteous men, who rescued Jews and establish museums like this one. The Hesed Jehudah, a Jewish charity organization, is very efficient. At times I hear or read in newspapers about people grumbling about the food that they don't find to be so good. I think they have no grounds to complain. Hesed does a great job. Its numerous volunteers work hard and help thousands of Jews. My wife and I receive food packages each month.

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Ivan Barbul