Natalia Zilberman with her grandson Alyosha Zimin

Natalia Zilberman with her grandson Alyosha Zimin

My grandson Alyosha Zimin (Leonid's son) and I, Natalia Zilberman in Kiev in 1986. Alyosha and I were photographed before his departure to Moscow.

My son married Galia Struchenko, a Ukrainian girl, in 1965. Their son Alexei was born in 1967. My husband and I bought them an apartment in Druzhby Narodov Blvd. Galina's mother happened to a friend of my cousin Lisa. Galina and her mother Ksenia always treated Jews with respect. They have many Jewish friends. We've always had friends of various nationalities. Leonid has many Rus-sian friends. Galina and Leonid are very happy together. Leonid and Galina are not religious, but they always have matsah at Pesach and Easter bread at Christian Easter. Galia cooks Gefilte fish and they visit us at Pesach.

Alexei finished school with gold medal in 1984. One day specialists from Moscow Physic techni-cal Institute came to Ukraine to interview Ukrainian children to admit them to the Institute based on results. Alexei was 16 and he went to the interview. He called me later to tell me that he believed he was a success, because members of this commission were pleased with his answers. They asked him about the nationality of his parents and he said that his mother was Ukrainian and his father was a Jew. Alexei became a programmer. He worked in the US for two years. He lives in Moscow now with his family. Alexei has a Russian wife Lena and they have 3 children: Ksenia, 8-year old, Tatiana, 5-year old and Vania that will soon turn 2. Alexei identifies himself as a Jew. His family is not religious, but they observe some traditions and celebrate both Pesach and Easter.

In 1978 I retired from the tuberculosis hospital where I had been director for 18 years. My pension is 162 Hrivna (Editor's note: it's about $30, a little bit more than average due to the number of years I worked, but my apartment fee is about $20 per month. It is impossible to make ends meet with this money). My former patients still call me every now and then. I receive calls from my acquaintances residing in Israel and the US. One of my friends lives in Great Britain. I often call Syutka Finkel-shtein. Sometimes my son Lyonia and his wife Zhenia visit me. My friends call me on the phone. They are old and cannot come on a visit.

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