This photo was taken in Bucharest in 1936, when Mama’s sister Rachil paid a visit, and my grandmother Mariam and I were photographed with her. Sitting in the center is my grandmother Mariam Steinberg, I am on her right wearing a white suit, Dodika, Uncle Moishe's daughter, is on the left. Standing from right to left are my mother's brother Moishe Steinberg, my mother’s sister Feiga, her husband Marcello Iosifzon, behind him is my mother’s sister Rachil, and Sonia, Moishe’s wife, is on the left.
My grandmother Mariam owned a store. My grandmother joked that she managed a ‘gas station.’ There were just two cars in Orgeyev: the main transport means were horses and my grandmother sold food for the horses: oats, bran, etc. Jewish and Moldovan cabmen were Mariam’s customers: they knew and respected my grandmother. My grandmother and grandfather rented an apartment, though it was spacious and well-furnished. There were six children in the family. They were raised to respect and observe Jewish traditions.
I was born on 10th January 1925. I was named Izia [full name Israel] after my grandfather. This name, Izia Antipka, was written down in my birth certificate.
I recall my childhood with a warm feeling: this was the time of overall love. My father worked as a broker. He often traveled to nearby villages and towns, buying food products and making deals with farmers. My mother was a first-class dressmaker. She owned a shop and had two employees working for her. Every evening our family got together for dinner and these were the warmest evenings in my life. We discussed events of the day, had delicious food and then Mama put me and my sister to bed and this was wonderful.