Samuel Eirus' mother and her colleagues

This photograph shows my mother in her hairdressing saloon in Estonia.

My Mom told me about her childhood very little. Her family lived in the town of Opochka. [Opochka is situated 130 km far from Pskov.] Her mother had got 3 children: 2 girls and a boy.

Her father (my maternal grandfather) was a true Jewish small trader: he had got a horse and carried junk from village to village, changing it for money or for different things.

Mom said that he traveled much and worked as a real commercial traveler. So the family was rather poor. But my grandfather's wife did not work and he had a horse, therefore he was wealthier than the others.

On the other hand, they lived in out-of-the-way village: life was cheaper there than in cities.

They observed no Jewish traditions.

I know nothing about the way my mother and her relatives got to Estonia. I was born in Tartu where my father and mother lived at that time.

I think that they lived there for a rather long period of time: my mother's husband and her brother Mulya, for example, played together in the orchestra - I guess it means that the family settled down for good in Tartu.

My mother was born in Opochka (a town near Pskov) in 1901. Her parents were poor. She finished only 4 classes, therefore it was possible to call her illiterate. But she was very beautiful!

Mom worked as a hairdresser. In the beginning she was a master; later she was appointed a manager of her hairdressing saloon because of her diligence and good service.

My Mom's circle of acquaintance was rather wide because of her work: several theaters were situated near her hairdressing saloon. One of them was the Bolshoy Drama Theater named after Tovstonogov [it was founded in 1919 and is one of the most popular theaters of the city].

Another one was the Drama Theater named after Pushkin [one of the oldest professional theaters of Russia was founded in 1756]. There was also the Comedy Theater [founded in 1935] situated in Nevsky prospect.

Therefore a lot of her customers were actors. Mom knew many actors personally. It was very interesting.