This is a monument to my husband constructed after his death.
He was buried in the "January the 9th Cemetery" in the so-called "communist site". I had it engraved in the bottom "To a dear husband and father from his wife and children". I meant his daughter, called Bella. I think she had been to Leningrad only once, for the funeral. Now she lives in Kemerovo.
Like me, Shaya had been born in Poland in 1903, so he was 17 years older than me. I do not know anything about his parents except that his father's name was Itsik.
His entire family was dead. Shaya was a very educated man and before the war he had worked as the rector of the Higher Communist Political University in Leningrad. He was very respected and all his friends loved him very much.
His wife was arrested in Leningrad as a Polish spy, and soon after, in 1933, he too was arrested as an accomplice. Shaya was sentenced to death, but the death penalty was commuted to 10 years of imprisonment.
His daughter, Bella, survived and was brought up in a boarding school. She now lives in Kemerovo. Later, when Shaya was in a prison camp in Sverdlovsk, they gave him five more years.
He was an ardent, well-known, and respected communist. In total, he was convicted to 15 years.
During his imprisonment, Shaya had lost all his hair. I liked him bald all the same. He was a good man and a good friend and he later became my husband.
At first we lived in my rented room, but after awhile we began to build our own house. Shaya was rehabilitated by then. I was invited to teach secondary school children about cutting and sewing and I closed the shop.
In 1961 I too was rehabilitated. My husband again plunged into party work and became the rector of the Public University in Leningrad. I worked at home and raised our son. We sold our house in Maklakovo and purchased furniture.
Everything was good until Shaya fell ill in 1965 from throat cancer. When he began complaining of pain, we started to visit doctors, but for a long time he was treated improperly.
He spent a whole year in the hospital. He communicated with me in writing because he could not speak. Shaya died in 1968.
Victor was 10 years old.
The death of my husband upset me terribly. Once, on Nevsky Avenue, I fainted and got a concussion in the fall. I was in critical condition in the hospital for a full month, but I recovered.
The teacher, who picked up my son, brought him to her house, and took care of him for the entire month.