Ranana Malkhanova with her husband Matvey Malkhanov and daughter Ilana Subachene

This is my family: me, my husband Matvey Malkhanov, my daugher Ilana Subachene and our dog. This picture was taken in Palanga, in the park of the fairy tale character sculptures, in the 1970s. In 1966 I gave birth to a girl and named her Ilana. After four years we were given a separate two-room apartment. It was rather small, but it was mere happiness for our family. At last we had our own apartment. We lived comfortably. Both of us earned pretty good money. We didn't own a car or dacha. Only a few people could afford that. We usually went on vacation with our children to the Baltic coast in Palanga. Once we went to Siberia. We stayed in my husband's motherland for a month. We also went to Yalta in the peak of the vacation season. Having been used to the cold sea, I could barely stand the Crimean heat. My husband and I loved each other very much. What really marred our lives was our vastly different appearance. When I was young, I was a blue-eyed blonde, and Matvey who wasn't of a common appearance: wide cheekbones, slant eyes, always got a lot of attention. People even pointed fingers at him. He was really worried because of that and I tried to turn it into a joke. Maybe it was one of the reasons why I never broached the subject of immigration to Israel with my husband. I worked among Lithuanians. I was never maltreated by them, and never heard any negative words regarding myself and Jews. Anyhow Israel attracted me like any other Jew, because it was my country. For the first time in many centuries we had gained our motherland. My husband and I had the same opinion of things. It's such a pity that he died so early. In 1988 we got a telegram regarding the death of Matvey's mother and he urgently flew to Siberia. Matvey felt really bad during the funeral of his mother and died on that very day. He was buried in Kacha next to his mother. I managed to go to his funeral. It was so unexpected, horrible and dreadful. I have lived by myself since that time. My daughter Ilana graduated from Vilnius University, from the French Language and Literature department. She's currently working in the French cultural center. Ilana married a Lithuanian. His name is Subachene. My favorite granddaughter Gabriela, born in 1986, is finishing a lyceum. She would like to become a doctor. She'll probably continue her education abroad. Gabriela is fluent in English and is studying French. She identifies herself as Lithuanian, but treats Jews with great respect. When I came back from Israel, she asked me to talk to the students of her class and tell them about the country.