Jemma Grinberg's mother Hana Deich, her sisters Nelia and Bronia

From right to left: my mother Anna Deich, with her sisters, Nelia and Bronia. This photo was taken in 1912 in Vinnitsa, Ukraine. My mother, Hana (Anna) Deich, who was born in 1900, was the first among her siblings to get an education at the Frebelev Institute, from which she graduated with a diploma allowing her to work with retarded children. Since childhood she had always been eager to get a good education. This was not typical of Jewish girls, who were traditionally supposed to dedicate themselves to family life. In the 1920s education was free, and all children from proletariat families were admitted to educational institutions. So my mother had no problem gaining entrance into the institute and getting an education. My mother's sister Bronia, was born in 1898 and worked as a clerk at a plant in Kiev - the same plant where her nephew, her sister Maria's son, Semyon, also worked. She was evacuated to Kazan with him. Bronia never married. She died in the mid-1970s. Nelia, another one of mother's sisters, was born in 1904 and obtained a higher pedagogical education. She studied in Leningrad and then married Moisey Paniah, a Jew. Moisey was at the front during the war and Nelia and her sons, Victor and Alexandr, were evacuated to Kazan. Victor and Alexandr live in St.-Petersburg now. Nelia and Moisey died a long time ago. When my mother and I evacuated to Kazan during the war, my mother's sister Nelia met us at the train station and immediately sent my mother to the hospital. Mother's legs were swollen and she couldn't walk. The doctor there said that there was nothing he could do to help mother, but Nelia started selling all the clothes she had to buy food, and managed to cure Mama.

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Jemma Grinberg