Sheindlia Krishtal’s sister Faina Krishtal with her friend Riva Krasnitskaya

From left to right: Riva Krasnitskaya (Faina's friend) and my sister Faina Krishtal. They worked together in Rovno. Signed on the backside: "Fania, remember our good days in Rovno and me. Riva. 31.10.1940, Kiev".

My sister Faina Krishtal was born in 1914.

Our mother had a stroke in 1929 and was confined to bed when she was only a little over 40. Riva and I stayed with our parents - the other children moved to other locations. Riva and I were responsible for housekeeping. Riva used to say: "O'K - I will knit you a hat and you wash the floor." Faina became a schoolteacher in a school near Iziaslav when she was 16. Fira finished an accounting school and worked as accountant at the Wapniarka station - office of Odessa railroad.

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. Faina entered Financial Economic Institute. She studied well and got a job at the Ministry of Finance. She often went on business trips to Rovno.

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.

In half a year Faina, Riva and Lilia came from Kuibyshev. Fira found a job at the Ministry of Finance. She got a room at a hostel not far from the hostel where I lived. Riva went to work at a kindergarten.

Reevacuation 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.

Our house was destroyed. My father found a small room in a basement in 9, Vorovskogo Street. It was an awful dwelling, but we were glad to have a roof over our heads. Riva's house was ruined during the war and Riva, her husband and Lilia moved to Germany and later - to the border with China in the Far East. Fira and Faina lived in Kiev after the war, but their personal life left much to be desired. Fira lived in Riva's family for some time. Faina gave birth to a daughter - Bella in 1954.

Bella was ill with asthma and they moved to Israel in 1991 to have an opportunity to give Bella a proper treatment.

In 1996 I visited Israel. I met with my relatives - they are well settled. I am happy for Faina - Bella likes it there. They live in Kiriat-Ono near Tel-Aviv. I saw Faina for the last time - she passed away 4 years ago.