Semyon Levbarg‘s wife Sarra Krol and her schoolchildren

Semyon Levbarg‘s wife Sarra Krol and her schoolchildren

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My wife Sarra Krol and her schoolchildren during evacuation in Yangi Yul, Uzbekistan. This photo was taken approximately in 1943. In 1951 my friend Lyova introduced me to his wife's friend Sarra Krol. Sarra was born to a common Jewish family in Kiev in 1924. Her father Iosif worked in a store and her mother was a housewife. Before the Great Patriotic War Sarra finished 9 years of a Russian secondary school. During the war Sarra's family was in evacuation in Yangi Yul, in Uzbekistan. Sarra finished secondary school there. When they returned to Kiev after the war Sarra entered the College of Public Economy. When I met her Sarra was a planner in a trade organization. Sarra and I fell in love. We got married in 1952. Although I was a member of the Party and didn't mention my father's religiosity at work I decided to have a Jewish wedding. Sarra and I had a chuppah at the synagogue in Schekavitskaya Street where my father had worked his whole life. We had a religious wedding in secret. Only Sarra's parents and my friend Lyova Golfman and his wife were at the wedding. The rabbi recited a prayer. I drank a glass of red wine, broke the glass with my shoe and we signed a wedding contract. There was no party at the synagogue. Our guests wished us happiness and gave their wedding gifts: crockery and bed sheets that were hard to get at that time. Later we had a wedding party at home where we invited our relatives and friends. We agreed to use our neighbors' apartment as well since we had about 30 guests at the wedding. We've 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.
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Interviewee

Semyon Levbarg