Sarah Rozavskaya and Haim Rozavskiy

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My Aunt Sarah Rozavskaya and my Uncle Haim Rozavskiy. The photo was taken in 1947 in Kiev, and sent to me to Tashkent. My mother had some brothers and sisters, but I only knew her younger sister, Sarah. She was born in Khvoyniki. It was a small village, but pogroms happened there every now and then. Bandits came to the village to rob its inhabitants of their meagre belongings. During a pogrom in Khvoyniki in 1918, arranged by Petliura soldiers, my grandparents and my mother's sisters and brothers were killed. The bandits demanded food and valuables. My grandmother gave them all she had, but then the bandits killed the whole family stabbing them with bayonets. Only my mother and Sarah survived. My mother was pregnant at that time and hiding in the attic. Sarah ran to the fields in the outskirts of the village. She was followed by Petliura military who were shooting at her. Sarah was wounded but a Belarus family gave her shelter and nursed her back to health. After that Sarah lived in Gomel. She married Haim Rozhavskiy, a Jewish man. I remember the famine of 1933. During those hard times Sarah and Haim took our sister Sima to their home. She stayed with them afterwards. They simply adored her and were raising her like their own daughter. In 1937 they moved to Kiev, bought a small room and took to their business. Haim was a tailor, and Sarah was a dressmaker. They didn't have any children due to Sarah's wounds from the pogrom. The bullet had injured some vital organs and wasn't removed from her body until 1956. During the Great Patriotic War Sarah and her husband were in evacuation. In August 1941, I received a letter which said that Sima and Aunt Sarah evacuated to Alma-Ata [Kazakhstan]. They returned from evacuation in 1947. Sima finished a trade school and worked at a plant. Sima treated Aunt Sarah like a mother. Aunt Sarah and her husband died in the 1980s.

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