Jemma Grinberg's father's brother Yevsey Grinberg and his daughter Stella

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This is my father's brother,Yevsey Grinberg with his daughter, Stella This photo was taken in Belaya Tserkov, Ukraine, in 1936. From the mid-1930s Yevsey was Head of the Belaya Tserkov Party Committee. Belaya Tserkov is a district town not far from Kiev. Yevsey 's daughter, Stella was born in 1930. Yevsey's wife died in childbirth in 1935. She suffered a hemorrhage resulting in the blood infection which killed her. Yevsey sent her to the Kremlin Hospital in Moscow, but the doctors there couldn't save her. Stella stayed with some distant relative of her mother's in Moscow and Yevsey returned to Belaya Tserkov. In 1938 when the repression of Party and Soviet activists was at its height, Yevsey was accused of not revealing the names of enemies of the people and their non-delivery to the Soviet punitive authorities. Although he was 1st secretary of the party's town committee, they didn't allow him to attend the meeting, and closed the door in his face. Yevsey, realizing that he was going to be arrested, came home and shot himself. The farewell message he inscribed to his daughter Stella on a photograph on which the two appeared together read, 'Don't believe anything bad about me. Continue on the road to communism.' After her father's death, Stella went to live with Yevsey's sister, Rosa. Aunt Rosa couldn't afford to give Stella any advanced education, so Stella worked as a nurse at a kindergarten and then as a shop assistant in a bookstore. She studied English and later made good use of it when she emigrated to the USA after losing both her husband and her only son. Her husband died from a coronary infarction while at work. He was a musician and was on tour in France in the 1970s when he fell ill and died. Stella's son received his education at the Kiev Institute of Culture. He was also a musician, and a very talented one. An epileptic, he died at home in 1996 at the age of 42.

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Interviewee

Jemma Grinberg