Sheindlia Krishtal’s brother Samuel Krishtal with his wife Ginda and daughter Alla, sister Fira Krishtal, husband Shabsai Khandros and a stranger

Sheindlia Krishtal’s brother Samuel Krishtal with his wife Ginda and daughter Alla, sister Fira Krishtal, husband Shabsai Khandros and a stranger

At a birthday party, from left to right: my brother Samuel Krishtal, his wife Ginda Krishtal and her daughter Alla, my sister Fira Krishtal, a stranger and my husband Shabsai Khandros. Kiev, 1952.

My brother Samuel and his friend Motia Precizen went to work at the Crimean metallurgical plant in 1928. My brother studied at the Railroad College by correspondence. He graduated and went to work at the railroad shops near protection of the Virgin nunnery in Kiev. He rented a room in 15, Pokrovskogo Street in the center of the city. He must have told his Jewish landlords about his life and that his mother was very ill. There were more medical opportunities in Kiev and my father, Samuel and sisters decided to move to Kiev.

In 1930 our family decided to move to Kiev. Shortly after we moved to Kiev my mother had another stroke and again she had to stay in bed. Faina resided in a very small room in a communal apartment in Luteranskaya Street in the center.

Soon my brother married a Jewish woman,her name was written as Ginda in her passport, but she was commonly called Donia. He moved to his wife in Smirnov-Lastochkin Street. Samuel studied in Kiev Industrial Institute by correspondence. He began to work there as a worker and reached a position of superintendent at the Mechanic plant.

The war began on 22 June 1941. Soon evacuation was announced at the plant where my brother worked. My father, Fira, Faina and I evacuated with Samuel's family to Alma-Ata in Kazakhstan [about 4 thousand km from Kiev]. Our trip lasted for about two months. We went on freight train that was continuously bombed on the way. We went through Kuibyshev where Riva and her 6-months old daughter had to stop. Lilia got ill from exhaustion and had to stay in hospital for 6 months. Faina stayed in Kuibyshev with Riva to look after Lilia and Samuel, my father ad Fira went to Alma-Ata.

Re-evacuation was announced in 1945. How happy we were to come back home. There were fire-works on Victory Day of 9 May 1945 - people came out into the streets congratulating each other on victory, crying and laughing. We - my father and I, Fira, Faina, Riva, Lilia and Samuel with his family - returned to Kiev.

Samuel, Donia and Israel also returned to Kiev and settled down in their previous apartment in Smirnov-Lastochkin Street. After the war their daughter Elizabeth was born. We call her Lialia. She was named after her grandmother - our mother's name was Liya.

In 1978 my brother Samuel's son moved to Boston, USA. Samuel's daughter Lialia married a Russian man. She has a son - Alyosha, but she divorced her husband. Samuel passed away in 1980 - he was a very intelligent and responsible man. We buried him in the Jewish corner in Berkovtsy cemetery. Lialia moved to Israel shortly afterward and his wife Donia lives in Kiev with her elderly mother.

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