Mark and Rose Epstein

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I got acquainted with my future wife when I worked at the Palace of Pioneers.

My wife Rose Yakovlevna Ebert graduated from the Leningrad College of Foreign Languages (French faculty) and taught French at school. She took her pupils to the Palace of Pioneers for excursion and came to my department.

We noticed each other and I started courting her. It resulted in our wedding. We celebrated our wedding in the large canteen of the Mariinsky theatre. We invited 102 guests.

An orchestra played, several people shot films. We had a good time. I still keep invitation cards. The next day at home I gathered my colleagues from the Palace of Pioneers, and my wife invited her colleagues from her school.

My wife was born in 1928.

During my work at the Palace of Pioneers the Head of our department regarded me with disfavor. I guess she was an anti-Semite.

I was a member of the CPSU since 1943. I joined the party at the front.

It was very difficult to find job at that time, especially if your item 5 was a stumbling-block. The principal of the school where my wife worked was a very decent person.

He advised my wife to improve her English urgently (her basic language was French). You see, at that time English became the basic foreign language at schools, therefore my wife could loose her work teaching only French.

She finished a postgraduate course for teachers of English language, and started teaching English at school. As her salary was rather small, the director permitted her to combine teaching with a post of a Pioneer Leader.

My wife's mother Maria Romanovna was a seamstress and worked very quickly. My wife's father was a tailor (like my father). He was a wonderful person. He loved me very much (considered me to be his son). He often asked me to tell about a book I had read or a film I had seen. He said I was the best narrator he knew.

My wife had got an elder brother (he was 4 years older than me). Her brother was a medical officer (submariner). He graduated from the Army Medical College in Leningrad. Later he left for Chelyabinsk and worked there at the faculty of microbiology.

With assistance of my wife he became a PhD, and later defended his doctor's thesis. He became a professor and a Head of the microbiological faculty at the Chelyabinsk Medical College.

He was also a pro-rector of the College. Later he became a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences. My wife's brother was a very sociable person.

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Interviewee

Mark Epstein