Mariam Gonopolskaya and her grandchildren

This is my grandmother Mariam Gonopolskaya (in the center) with her grandchildren. From left to right: Senia Mezhyshko, I, Ilia Spirt, Alik Gonopolskiy. The photo was taken in Odessa in 1954. During the Great Patriotic War my grandmother was in evacuation in Penza and then Kustanai with her younger daughter Dora's family. They returned to Odessa in 1944 and settled down in the same house where they got a room and a kitchen on the second floor. My grandmother was much cared for and it was mandatory for members of the family to visit her. I demobilized in the rank of master sergeant in 1952 and arrived in Odessa. I wore my military coat for two years before I could buy a coat. I went to work at the Kirov machine tool plant. I learned several professions and was enrolled in one of the first crews of chisel workers that were known for their high qualifications. I got a raise of salary. In 1953 I entered the evening department of Leningrad Industrial Institute. I worked in shifts: one week I worked at daytime and then two weeks night shift to be able to attend classes. My cousin Ilia, Aunt Hanna's son, was born in 1926. During the war Hanna and her son were in evacuation in Kustanai with us. In 1943 Ilia was recruited to the army, finished an aviation school of gunners/radio operators and was at the front. His father perished at the front during the Great Patriotic War. Ilia worked at the butchery in Odesssa after the war. He married a Jewish girl. Their only daughter Rita was born in the 1950s. Ilia died in 2000. My cousin Senia, Aunt Dora's son, was born in 1938. After the war Senia worked as a docker in the port in Odessa. In the late 1990s he emigrated to the US with his wife Nonna, a Jewess, his son Mikhail and his son's family. My cousin Alik, Uncle Lyonia's son, was born in evacuation at the end of 1941 and never saw his father. Lyonia perished at the front. Alik finished a machine-tool college and worked as engineer at a plant. He married a Russian girl called Luba. Their son Alexey was born in the 1960s. He graduated from Polytechnic Institute and married a Russian girl, Ira. In early 2000 Alik moved to Germany with his family.