Jemma Grinberg's father's brother Yevsey Grinberg, his sister Fania and Rosa

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From left to right: my father's brother Yevsey Grinberg, with his sisters, Fania (center) and Rosa. The photo was taken in Radzivillov, Ukraine in 1911. The youngest girl in the family, Fania, who was born in 1907, married Timofei Shybaev, a Russian who was the director of a big plant in Moscow. He was mistakenly arrested in 1938. My father went to Moscow to meet with Vyshynsky to have Shybaev's case reviewed. Shybaev was subsequently released and the authorities apologized for their mistake, but forbade him to live in big cities. His family settled down in the village of Turbino, near Moscow, where Timofei worked as a Geography teacher at the local school. He became very nervous when he was not recruited during the first days of the war. He feared that the authorities did not believe he could be trusted to defend his Motherland. He even had a nervous breakdown. Then he was recruited into the Red Army and went through the war without one single wound. After the war he and Fania and their son Felix lived in Gorky. Fania and Timofei died in the mid-1970s. Rosa, born in 1899, lived a very humble life. She didn't have any opportunity for education. She worked as a janitor in a hospital until she retired with a miserable pension. She was not happy in her personal life. According to what she told me, she was in love with a young man whose name was Adolf, but I don't know whether he was a Jew or a German. He disappeared sometime in the mid-1920s. Rosa couldn't forget her love and didn't want to have a romantic relationship with anybody else. She lived with Stella, her brother Yevsey's daughter. Adolf found Rosa in the mid-1970s. It turned out that he had been sent abroad as an intelligence officer and had not been allowed to say 'good-bye' to her. By then, he had a family and children, but he always remembered Rosa and tried to find her as soon as he had the chance. Adolf supported her and her niece Stella until Rosa died in the mid-1980s.

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Jemma Grinberg