Miriam Dobrysh

This is my mother Miriam Dobrysh. The picture was taken in Tartu in 1935.

Mother’s parents lived in Tallinn. Grandfather was a cobbler, Grandmother was a housewife. She raised five children. The eldest, Isaac, was born in 1905 and the second, Hirsh, in 1907. Mother’s third brother, Pesach, was born in 1910. My mother Miriam-Deborah was born in 1913 and the youngest, Sheine, in 1916.

All children got good education. My mother and her sister finished the German lyceum in Tallinn, studied music.

My parents met in Tallinn. Father came from Tartu to their acquaintances in Tallinn, and met mother there. It was not a pre-arranged meeting. They simply met in the place of people both of them knew. As far as I understand, Grandmother was very authoritarian and Mother was happy to get married and get away from Grandmother’s control. My parents got married on 25th December 1933, on Christmas. They had three days off and took advantage of that. They had a traditional Jewish wedding under the chuppah. After getting married, Mother moved to Tartu from Tallinn.

My parents didn’t have their own house. They rented apartments. Before the war, within six and a half years, we changed four apartments. Our last apartment was in the center of Tartu, in front of the theater. The house was destroyed during the war. There is nothing in that place now. There is only grass. We lived in a large apartment, consisting of five rooms. Father worked for the merchant Bakst. Mother was a housewife after getting married. I was born on 14th December 1934. They named me Avi. I am an only child.