Samuel Eirus' father in his orchestra

This photograph shows my father’s orchestra. I guess in was taken in Estonia, but I am not sure.

My father was born in Estonian city Vyru in 1905. I already told you that my paternal grandfather was a professional revolutionary, and he managed to educate all his sons.

My father spoke Russian, Estonian (I do not take these 2 languages into consideration), German and French. By the way I do not know if he knew Yiddish or Hebrew.

Besides, he finished a musical school and played in the Estonian National Orchestra. I keep a photo showing him together with the orchestra musicians. Pay attention that musical education was not free at that time.

My father was a real professional: he was able to perform serious musical compositions. I remember my Mom told that he wrote notes himself.

Some musical scores he arranged for his balalaika [a national Russian musical instrument]. I remember him frequently writing notes at home…

You can see that their orchestra was rather large. Unfortunately I do not remember where they played.

Mom told me that my father was very sociable, very cheerful and liked to talk. I guess he had said too much in a company, and somebody informed NKVD against him (somebody who was evil-eyed). But when my father was taken away, we were not informed about any charges against him.

It happened in summer when we were at dacha. Father was alone at home. Our neighbors told us later that he was taken at night (we knew that it always happened at night time). They arrived in a black car (people called in Cherny Voron).

They used to come together with a street cleaner, and father had to open the door. They made a search. Everything was turned upside down: all linen was thrown out of the wardrobe, all books were on the floor… Our neighbors informed us, and we immediately rushed home…

Mother addressed municipal officials and got to know that father was in the Kresty prison [a well-known prison on the territory of Leningrad].

At first Mom brought father food packages. And then one day they refused to take her package and informed that father was sentenced to 10 years of camps without right of correspondence.

We never got to know where he was taken from Leningrad. I told you already that only much later we found out what it meant. My father was hopeful of justice, but alas: at that time there was no justice.

In 1958 my Mom received a certificate of father's death. It was written there that he was rehabilitated posthumously.