Mrs. Litvak

My wife, Alina Litvak’s mother, I don’t know her first name. This photo was taken in Odessa in 1917.

Upon demobilization from the army I returned to my parents in Kishinev. Uncle Musia helped me to get a job at the meat grinder repair shop. I became an apprentice, a foreman and later a superintendent and worked at this shop my whole life. I also entered the Dnepropetrovsk College of Railroad Transport, but I never finished it due to my illness. I had psoriasis that acquired an acute form during examinations and my doctors advised me to quit my studies due to the stress this caused. There were mainly Jewish employees in the shop and its director was Moldovan. The anti-Semitism in the early 1950s didn’t affect us, though Jewish chief engineers were fired. I kept working without any problems. Once I visited a tobacco factory, when I was chief of technical supervision. I met Alina Litvak, a Jewish girl, who worked at this factory. I liked her and we began to see each other. Then we fell in love with each other and I proposed to her. 

Alina was born in the town of Rybnitsa in 1929. She didn’t remember her father, Ilia Litvak, who died long before the Great Patriotic War, when Alina was just a small child. During the Great Patriotic War Alina and her mother were in the ghetto in Rybnitsa. Her mother died in the ghetto. Alina and her sister Fania, who was a few years older than her, survived. After the war Alina lived with her aunt in Kishinev. After finishing a secondary school she went to work as a lab assistant at the tobacco factory. We had a small wedding party with my parents, relatives and a few friends. Of course, it was a common wedding with no chuppah. After the war we didn’t observe Jewish traditions, though we celebrated holidays, particularly Pesach, and my father always brought matzah from the synagogue.