This is a photo of my brother Abram Abramson and me. The picture was taken in Rubinskiy's photo atelier in Siauliai in 1928.
My elder brother Abram was born in 1918, and on the 13th of May 1920 I was born. Our father was a representative of the owners at Guberniya brewery. Father started making pretty good money and we felt it. We acquired a beautiful grand piano made of mahogany. Mother played it. My brother and I were taught music at home. Besides, I had an English tutor, who came over to us. We had a housekeeper: a Russian lady, Nina, but my mother, a great cook, didn’t let her cook without her guidance
My parents mostly spoke Russian at home. Mother knew Yiddish, but Russian was closer to her. Of course, I understood Yiddish as my father tried speaking it with me. There was a Jewish school by the synagogue and my brother and I went there. I went to that elementary school for two years. Subjects were taught in Yiddish. There were several Jewish schools and lyceums in Siauliai. When I grew up a little bit, Father made arrangements for my brother and me to be transferred to the Jewish lyceum. Here I started studying a language that was new to me: Hebrew. It was a prestigious institution. Father had to spend a lot of money on my tuition. I don’t remember the precise amount.
The lyceum wasn’t far from home. My brother’s friend lived close by. His parents owned a cab and they usually gave us a lift with their son. Once, in winter time, when it was frosty, the three of us came to the lyceum, but my brother and I weren’t let in. It turned out that Father left on a trip and didn’t manage to make the payment. My brother and I had to walk back home across the town. When Father came back, he was furious. I had never seen him in such a frenzy. He went to the lyceum right away and took our documents. The headmaster of the lyceum understood his fault and tried to correct the situation. He came to my father with his apologies, but Father wasn’t willing to listen. He hired teachers for us, who came home and crammed us for the Lithuanian lyceum. In summer 1929 my brother and I entered it rather easily. He went to the boys’ and I went to the girls’ lyceum.