Sarra Nikiforenko’s mother Enta Zelyonaya and nephew Vitalik Zelyony

My mother Enta Zelyonaya with her little grandson Vitalik Zelyony, the son of my younger brother Boris Zelyony. The photo was taken in Baku in 1940 and sent to me in Kharkov so that I could see my nephew.

In 1931 my parents moved to Baku where my brother Solomon resided. He always said this was a nice and hospitable town and there was always a lot of food. There were no problems with getting a place to live or a job in Baku. There was a big Jewish community and a synagogue in the town. Gradually all of my relatives moved to Baku. There is a big area at the Jewish cemetery in Baku where my relatives were buried. Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan in Zakavkaziye. It stands on the Caspian Sea, and is the center of oil industry that enriched this town at the beginning of 20th century. The town is located in 2700 km from Kiev.

My parents had neighbors of all nationalities: Azerbaijan, Armenian, Russian and Jewish. They were friendly with each other and felt comfortable speaking their own languages. When my father went to synagogue all non-Jewish neighbors greeted him with Jewish holidays. My mother treated them to some Jewish food and they treated us to their traditional food.

My father often wrote me from Baku. He wrote about my brothers, sisters and their children. They got used to the town, only they were aging and were in their late 80s. My father wrote in Russian very well. In 1940 my father died and my mother went to live with my sister Sonia.
My mother died in Baku in 1944.