Malka Deribizova with children

Malka Deribizova with children

This is a group of children near granddad Isay Goldberg’s cottage house.

My mother Malka is third from the left in the second row. The photo was taken in Shivanda in 1913.

In the summer the children were taken to their own cottage house in Shivanda resort near Nerchinsk. A nanny was hired for the children. For some time a Chinese guy served as a nanny [Nerchinsk is close to China] and the children liked him a lot.

Poverty was a common thing in China at that time, and the Chinese who lived close to the border searched for ways to earn some extra money on Russian territory.

That Chinese boy was very young, short and very agile and pliant - of course, children liked to play with him. He helped around the house, in the vegetable garden and everywhere.

At first his Russian was very poor, but he was rather talented and he managed to master Russian quite well and in quite a short time. He didn't have to teach the children, he just kept an eye on them when the adults were not at home.

The Chinese lived in his own small room and dined at one table with the family. I was told that after some time he returned home where he had left his parents.

As a girl she was fond of taking care of animals, horses and cows. These skills helped her a lot later, when they were evacuated to a Siberian village during World War II.

She was the only evacuee who could milk a cow and ride a horse.

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