Sofia Katz and her brother Vladimir Spanerflig

Sofia Katz and her brother Vladimir Spanerflig

This is my daughter Sofia Katz and my son Vladimir (Velvl) Spanerflig during Sofia’s visit to Vilnius. She came there from USA in 1992 to attend my 70th birthday. Our family celebrated this even in a restaurant.

In late 1946 I gave birth to a son. I called him Velvl after my deceased son. 

Sorrow was on my doorway all the time. When my son was ten months, he was afflicted with meningitis. Almost all children died in the hospital where he was treated. Only Velvl and one other boy survived. Our son became really ill. He couldn’t walk for a long time and started talking at the age of four. My son couldn’t study either; he could hardly finish elementary school. We understood that he had to bear that cross. We decided to take a risk, and in 1954 I gave birth to a girl. We named her Sofia after my adopted little daughter, who perished in the ghetto. The girl was normal and made us happy. She was healthy and developed. 

My son studied in the evening department for a while, then did all kinds of odd jobs. Sofia graduated from the Economics Department of the university. My children simultaneously grew up and found partners. I had to exchange my apartment. Mikhail helped out. So, my children got their own apartments, and I stayed in my one-room apartment. My children weren’t lucky in their private life. Velvl married a Jewish girl, Evgenia. She was from Moldova. First, things were pretty good. They had a daughter, Marina. But…only a mother needs a sick man. Evgenia divorced Velvl and left for Israel with her daughter. It turned out that my son was deprived of his apartment. Now he lives with me in a one-room apartment and sleeps on the folding bed in the kitchen. His family keeps in touch with us. My daughter-in-law and granddaughter often write letters to us. 

Sofia married a Jewish guy, Katz. He was a fool and a womanizer, so their family life went bad right away. He even beat my daughter. They had a son, named Mikhail after his grandfather, and Sofia tried to save a family like any other woman would do. So, when her husband talked her into leaving for the USA, she left with him in 1980, hoping that common problems would make the family stronger. Only good and friendly families grow stronger. Sofia divorced her husband and stayed in America with her son. My relatives helped her a lot at first. By that time Uncle Mulya had become rather rich, even according to American standards, and my cousin Aesya was also married to a rather well-off guy. Sofia found a job and proved herself to be a gifted person. The director of the department Sofia worked for made Sofia her successor when she retired. Now Sofia is the director of the department. She earns good money and even has her own house. I visited my daughter only once in 1989, when Sofia wasn’t rich. Now she helps me a little bit. Almost every year she comes to Vilnius. My grandson Mikhail is married. His wife is Greek. My great-grandson’s name is Teile. 

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