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This is my father Meyer Levin. This picture is in our family album. The picture was taken in Riga in 1939 in a photo studio, located at Strelnieku Street. After the wedding my parents rented an apartment. It was a big four-room apartment in downtown. My mother kept working after getting married. I was born in 1933. I was named Nina. When I was born, my mother didn't want to quit her job and become a housewife. My parents hired a baby-sitter for me. My mother did all the work about the house. My parents worked and came back home in the evening, but they always found time to play with me, to read me a book and tuck me in. Russian was spoken at home. When my parents wanted to conceal something from me, they spoke French. I understood Yiddish since childhood as my paternal grandparents spoke it. My father spoke Yiddish with his brothers in the presence of my grandparents. If they weren't around, Russian was spoken. When the war began, four of our families went into evacuation: us, my father's brother Samuel and his family, Aunt Rosa, her husband and son, Aunt Irina and her husband. My father was drafted into the army in Almaty. His eyesight was poor and the medical board by the military enlistment office disqualified him from military service. My father was drafted into the labor army in Kazakhstan. There he worked as a truck driver by the end of the war. My mother and I remained on our own.

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Interviewee

Nina Polubelova