Meer (Miron) Averbukh

Meer (Miron) Averbukh


This is my father, Meer Averbukh. Mom and Dad got married in 1912, Mum was 27, father - 29.

We lived in Pskov, in Arkhangelskaya Street, which after the october Revolution of 1917 was renamed Lenin Street, because Lenin lived there at one time.

There is a Lenin museum there now. It was just a common unpaved street, along which there were wooden and brick houses where ordinary people lived.

Daddy had a private workshop in the courtyard where he made leather upper parts for footwear. The workshop was in the courtyard in an extension of the next brick house, with windows facing Arkhangelskaya Street.

We lived next door, also in a brick house, in a three-room apartment on the first floor. There was a bedroom, a dining room and a nursery. All the tenants in our building were Jews.

Even now I occasionally see a 90-year old woman here in St. Petersburg who lived in our house back then. I helped my father. He had a very heavy machine attached to the table that punched neat round holes in the leather and pressed iron rivets in them, to make eye holes for laces in women’s shoes.

I loved to use that machine. I also helped father cut the lining, watching that everything was done as accurately as possible. Daddy only made the uppers, only the top part of the shoes; all the rest of the footwear, soles and heels, were made by the shoemaker.

Mom and I both wore shoes made by father. On Friday, he used to come home at twilight and did not work until Sunday. Dad always knew that the dinner was exactly at 4 o’clock. No-one had to call him; he would stop working and come home for dinner, because the workshop was very close, right in our courtyard.

In the morning, Daddy used to pray in the dining room, putting on his Tefilin. We would not go in, so as not to disturb him. When he prayed at home, Daddy did not put on his tales, a large white silk scarf with black strips on the sides and fringes. He put it on only when he attended synagogue on the holidays.

I loved my mother, but I loved my father much more. He taught me to swim, to skate, to row! In summer we usually went to our summer residence, we rented it from some Russians each summer. It was on the Velikaya River.

Open this page

Photo details


Rachel Averbukh