Bild
This is my father Meyer Levin at the age of 14. The photograph was taken in Riga in 1919. My father and his siblings were born in Riga. My father was the eldest. He was born in 1904 and named Meyer. Samuel was born after my father. The third child was a daughter, who was given the Russian name Rosa, and her Jewish name was Reizl. Then came Vulf. I don't know when my father's siblings were born. The gap between them wasn't big; it was between one and two years. My grandfather was in charge of timber stock. He purchased logs in wholesale. They were processed at his enterprise and then that timber was sold further. The family did well. I don't know if they had their own house. My father's family was religious, observing all Jewish traditions. My father and his siblings got Jewish education. Each of them had a bar mitzvah at the age of 13. My grandfather understood the importance of a good education and assisted his children in that. Of course, everybody in the family knew Yiddish, but Russian was mostly spoken. At that time Latvia belonged to the Russian empire and the national language was Russian. All children were fluent in German. My father went to a Russian lyceum in Riga. Probably the rest of the children also studied there, I can't say for sure. Having graduated from the lyceum my father entered Riga University. I don't know which department. At that time there was an admittance quota for Jews in institutions of higher education, i.e. 5 percent out of the overall number of students. Upon graduation from the university, my father spent some time in Paris, France. I don't know anything about that period of his life.

Photo details

Interviewee

Nina Polubelova