Semyon Levbarg

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I am photographed at home before celebration of the calendar New Year in Kiev in 2003.

I and my wife Sarra had a good life. We went to theaters and concerts at the Philharmonics together. In summer we spent vacations in the Crimea or the Caucasus having trade union discounts. We didn't have a dacha [cottage] or a car. We were two engineers and couldn't afford such luxuries. At the end of 1960s we received a three-room apartment. This is where we still live with our son and his family. We never complained about our lives and were content with what we had. Many of our friends emigrated to Israel or the USA, but I never considered leaving my country. I think Israel is a great country. I wish there was no war there. However, I never wanted to leave the country where I live and the country that I struggled for during the war. Even when my wife's sister Tsylia sent us an invitation enabling us to submit our documents for emigration we didn't do it. My wife and I thought the same. I lived a happy life with my wife. How sad that Sarra died from a stroke in 1997. I buried her at the Jewish sector of the town cemetery without following any Jewish traditions.

I am happy to be living with those that I love and that love me in my old age. I wish I could spend more time with people of my age. I speak to them on the phone and attend the Daily Center at the society of Jewish culture in Hesed. I read Jewish newspapers and try to keep pace with life. I am interested in the Jewish history and culture. I haven't come to observing Jewish traditions. I haven't become a religious person. I do not celebrate any Jewish holidays either, but I try to get more information about them. The only thing I've never failed to observe is fasting at Yom Kippur in the memory of my father. At home we celebrate our birthdays, a calendar New Year and our favorite and dear holiday - 9 May, the Victory Day.

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Semyon Levbarg