Olga Bernstein with her son Dmitriy Min'kovskiy

Olga Bernstein with her son Dmitriy Min'kovskiy

This is a photo of me and my son  Dmitriy Min'kovskiy. This photo was taken when I was visiting my son during his service in the army in 1968. Dmitriy is wearing a uniform of a Soviet soldier.

I got married in 1949. My husband Alexandr Min'kovskiy was born in 1919. When we met he was a student of Medical College. We had a civil registry and then a wedding dinner at his parents' home.   After the wedding my husband and I settled down in his parents' apartment in Darnitsa that became a district in Kiev. My mother couldn't come to live with me since I came to live with my 'in-laws'. After my son Dmitriy was born in 1950 I went to work in an evening school near home. When I was at work my mother-in-law looked after my son. In 1951 my husband finished the Medical College. 1951 was the only year through the history of the Medical College when all men graduates were given the rank of junior lieutenants and sent to the Far East. My husband went to Sakhalin [about 7000 km from Kiev] and sent me invitation documents to join him there. I went to my husband with my mother and son. In January 1952 my second son Konstantin was born. My mother was very pleased and happy to be living with us. We lived in our own apartment in Sakhalin for five years. I didn't work. I was a housewife and my mother helped me. Those were wonderful years with her!

Five years later, in 1956, my husband's job assignment in the Far East was over and I returned to Kiev with my family.  I worked at the evening school, taught geography. My husband went on a spree in the early 1960. When I got to know that he was seeing another woman I said: 'That's it. Get packed and out of here'. I divorced him. I was alone for a long time. I retired in 1975. I receive a pension, but I don't know how I would live if it weren't for my children…

I am very fond of theater. I went to the Ukrainian and Russian Drama Theaters. I liked and knew actors. I was particularly fond of Russian drama. However busy I was with my work I always went to the theater and taught my children to like theater.

My older son Dmitriy Minkovskiy, born in 1950, finished a secondary school, served in the army and finished a medical College. For over 20 years he has worked in Kazakhstan, in Surgut town [about 3000 km from Kiev]. He went there on job assignment after finishing his college and stayed to live there. We didn't know that in 1991 we would be living in different countries. He is married to a Kazakh woman. They have a good life together and have two daughters, very nice girls. My son deals in insurance medicine. He is very successful. The only sad thing is that we see each other rarely. Traveling is expensive.

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