This photograph taken in Tartu in 1929. It shows my mother, her husband and brother.
They are sitting and listening to music. Note a portable gramophone.
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…
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.
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.
I know nothing about the way my father got acquainted with my Mom: I was not interested and Mom told me about my father not much.
All of us were hundred-per-cent Jews. I know that Grigory, the 2nd husband of Rive was Jewish, too. When I was going to receive my passport, authorities asked my certificate of birth from Estonia, where I was born. According to the inquiry Estonians sent us my certificate in Estonian language. It was written there that my parents were Jewish.
At the same time neither my father nor anyone from our family was religious. I mean they never showed it anyhow… I also remember no icons, nothing of that kind. Our family members were indifferent to prays and kippot.
I am sure in it because they were communists, especially my grandmother and her sister Rive (they were true revolutionaries, faithful to principles of communists). But! Recently I found a photo of my father where he wore some sort of a badge in the form of magen David (it was fixed to his coat's lapel).
My father used to wear ordinary suits (secular).