Sholom Rondin with his sisters Milia and Dusia

Sholom Rondin with his sisters Milia and Dusia

I, Sholom Rondin, and my sisters on my mother's side Milia (on the left) and Dusia (on the right) on my 70th anniversary. Photo made in Lvov in 1990. In a year's time my sisters moved to Israel.

After the downfall of the Soviet Union. Each Soviet republic became an independent state and our children and grandchildren happened to live abroad in Belarus and we live in Ukraine. We didn't see each other often before - we worked and were busy. But now with the boundaries, customs, and tickets - it is too much for us with our miserable pension and they can't afford visiting us either. They come to see us once a year. They used to send our grandchildren to spend their vacations with us, but now they have their own things to do. They call us every now and then.

My stepsisters on my mother's side came to say "good bye" to us prior to their departure back in 1991. They live in Israel and they are very happy. Six years ago my wife and I went to visit them in Israel. We liked it there. It's a beautiful country. We undoubtedly would like to live there, but we don't have much time left. We should have moved there 10 years before. Our relatives have a good life there. They receive a good pension and their children are well settled. Yes, we should have gone there. I would have been better there. Here I lost all my saving to the money reform. I saved my whole life for our old age and for our grandchildren. I had sufficient savings to lead a good life here, but we lost them all during the downfall of the USSR. When my sisters were leaving they took their savings with them and we here were robbed, but there is nobody to complain to.

Jewish organizations invite us to various events, lectures. We watch movies and listen to music at Hesed. Hesed provides us wit medications and food packages. It is a big support - we wouldn't manage without their help.

I am a pensioner now. I worked as a painter 44 years. I did my work well. Now nobody needs my skills. People wallpaper their apartments. Nobody wants to learn my profession. They will come to it -only it will be too late. Life was better during the Soviet power. I believed in this power and liked it. The Soviet power wouldn't have allowed impoverishment of old people - veterans. I worked hard day and night. I didn't join the party - I didn't care about it, especially that they had meetings of all kinds and other activities. I am not a public person. But I was respectable and didn't face any anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union. I don't see any anti-Semitism now. I believe if one is a decent person nobody would dare to hurt one's dignity.

Open this page