Khaya-Leya Shein and her children

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This is my father's family. From left to right: my paternal grandmother Khaya-Leya Shein, father's brother Leib, his sister Ella Gladovskaya, and his brother Isroel. The picture was taken in Riga in 1931.

All my father’s siblings were very different in their character, but all of them were decent and well-bred. There was no noise, no arguments. All of them grew up loving and respecting their parents, whose word was the law, even when the children reached adulthood. I think that all my aunts and uncles had pre-arranged marriages, which was customary for the Jews.

My father’s eldest sister, Rohe-Gitl, was married to a doctor, Moses Levitin. They had an only son Grigoriy, or Gersh. Rohe-Gitl died at a young age, in 1919. After the time of evacuation her husband moved to Leningrad and died there when he was as old as the hills. Rohe-Gitl’s son was also a doctor and was conferred the title of ‘honored doctor.’ He was single. We didn’t keep in touch with him, and I don’t know about his fate.

Efroim’s wife Roza, or Reize, was a dentist. They had an only daughter, Ronya, who was four years younger than me. Ester married Max Gladkovskiy, a doctor. Ester had two daughters. She and my father were the only ones in the entire family who survived the war. She died in 1985. Her daughters are still alive. Leib had a son, who was approximately of my age. I don’t remember the wives and children of my father’s other brothers. Having got married Father’s sisters were housewives, taking care of the household and children. Three brothers - my father, Efroim and Leib - worked with Grandfather, the rest of the brothers had their own business.

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Interviewee

Irene Shein