Jacob Rokhlin with his family

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This is my father's family. From left to right, sitting: my father's younger sister Miriam Shaz (nee Rokhlin), my grandmother Eugenia Rokhlin (nee Chapkowski), my father's younger brother Boris Rokhlin and my grandfather Afraim Rokhlin. My father Jacob Rokhlin is standing. This photo was taken in Tallinn in 1922.

My grandfather got married in Tallinn. My grandmother's family had moved to Tallinn from Poland. My grandmother Eugenia Chapkowski was born in 1888.

My grandfather wasn’t deeply religious. For his time he was an advanced character. He was a public activist and took part in various Jewish congresses and conferences. My grandfather was a member of the Jewish cultural society and various Jewish clubs. He attended various drama and music centers and even sang in some opera club. My grandfather was a member of the Bialik club in Tallinn. It was a Jewish cultural club. He wrote poems and lectured on Jewish literature. He also took an active part in political life. My grandfather also lectured on political issues and made presentations to young people.

This was the way of life he led. He observed Jewish traditions, but it was a mere manifestation. My grandfather celebrated Jewish holidays at home and went to the synagogue on major holidays.

After getting married my grandmother was a housewife. It was only my grandfather that was the breadwinner. They had three children.

My father, Jacob Rokhlin, born in 1910, was the oldest. Jacob was the name written in his documents, but for some reason, my father was called Max all his life. I have no idea, why. Even when my father died and his acquaintances read about it in the obituary section of the newspaper, they thought that the newspaper had just confused the names. My father’s sister Miriam was born in 1913, and Boris was born in 1915.

Their family was rather well-off. The children finished a gymnasium in Tallinn and continued their education. My father’s sister Miriam studied piano and music at the Conservatory in Tallinn. My father and his younger brother Boris studied at Tartu University. My father entered the Department of Dentistry, and his brother Boris studied law.

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Interviewee

Ester Vee