Nevil Blumberg

This is my son Nevil in this picture. He is four years old. This photo was taken at our home in Tallinn in 1965 on the occasion of buying a bicycle for our son. Our son was born in 1961. We gave him the name of Nevil. My mother-in-law chose this name for him. Before the war she had a close friend living in Viljandi. Her name was Rita. She gave birth to a son, and his name was Nevil. When the Soviet rule was established in Estonia, Rita and her family moved to Australia. She had relatives there. Rita was trying to convince my mother-in-law and the family to join them, but Rachmiel refused bluntly. He was a patriot of Estonia and was sure that nothing bad could happen to him in his own country. My mother-in-law asked me to name my son Nevil. I liked the name. The Soviet regime did not only fight religion, but also, the national identity, and all national rituals, including the Estonian and Jewish ones, were forbidden. However, my father-in-law could not imagine that his grandson was not going to have the brit milah ritual. At his request a mohalim from Leningrad arrived at our house to conduct the circumcision. My husband had a job and was a member of the party by then. He was not very happy about our decision to have our son circumcised. What he was saying was that we shouldn't expose our baby to pain. Nevil was three months old then. To prevent my husband from feeling that he was violating the party rules, we let him be away from home at the time. Of course, Hana and I also worried that this would cause the baby some pain, but Rachmiel insisted that the tradition was observed to the full. We spoke Yiddish to my husband's parents, but in our family the language we communicated in was Russian. Our son Nevil studied in the Russian school. He was doing well at school. When he went to the 3rd grade at school, we sent him to a music school. He took violin classes. Nevil finished the Russian school and the music school and entered a music college.