Ludmila Pavlovskaya’s mother Clara Ioselevich’s family

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My grandmother and grandfather on my mother's side and their daughters Clara (my mother - she is on the right) and Sonia in Bercichev in 1912. The families of my grandfather and grandmother on my mother's side lived in Berdichev. My grandfather Mordko Ioselevich was born in 1860s. My grandmother's name was Tzylia. I don't know her nee name. She was one or two years younger than my grandfather. They had two daughters: my mother Clara, named Haya at birth, was born on 18 September 1905 and her sister Sonia, born in 1910. My mother's parents were religious. The majority of population in Berdichev was Jewish. There were also Ukrainians and Russians. They all spoke Yiddish, including the Russian and Ukrainian population. All Jewish families were religious and observed Jewish traditions before the revolution of 1917. There were few synagogues in Berdichev. On Saturday and on holidays my mother's family went to the synagogue. They observed Jewish traditions and celebrated Sabbath and Jewish holidays. They spoke Yiddish in the family. The daughters received Jewish education. They had a Jewish teacher teaching them at home. My mother and her sister knew Hebrew, and could read and write both in Hebrew and Yiddish. My mother said that they had a menorah and hanukkiah at home. My grandfather had a thales and a tfiln. On weekdays my grandfather put on his thales and tfiln to pray at home. I don't remember any more details of the religious way of life. My grandfather was a watch and clock specialist. He had a shop and two employees. My grandfather also fixed jewelry in his shop. After the revolution of 1917 the authorities were putting a lot of pressure on my grandfather. He had to pay very high taxes until the Soviet power expropriated my grandfather's shop in 1924. He was desperate and committed suicide. My mother was living in Kiev when she heard about it. My grandfather and grandmother stayed in Kiev in 1941. Later we heard that they were shot by Germans in the Babiy Yar on 29 September 1941. My mother's mother Tzylia perished in Berdichev during mass shootings of Jews in 1941. My mother's distant relative from Berdichev found in the empty half-ruined house of my grandmother a family photograph of my grandmother and grandfather and their daughters and sent it to my mother. The picture was covered with mold stains and torn. This is the only picture of my mother's parents that we have.

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Interviewee

Ludmila Pavlovskaya