Solomon Zarkhin

Solomon Zarkhin


This is my husband Solomon Zarkhin as a student of Artillery Academy after Voroshilov. His last military rank was captain.

In 1931 I finished school and came from Pskov to Leningrad, in Tavricheskaya Street, to live with the family of Uncle Efim, mother’s brother. They lived in a communal (shared) apartment. I had to stay somewhere. The shared apartment was large, 5 rooms.

All the neighbors were Russians, except for two Jewish families - the Zarkhins and Berkals. We lived very amicably. All of us helped each other. Neither I, nor our neighbors the Zarkhins ever experienced anti-Semitism.

The biggest room was occupied by Uncle Efim, his wife and two daughters - Anna and Raya. In the next room lived the Zarkhins with their son Solomon. Father rented a room for me from Russian neighbors.

When he was there, he asked Solomon Zarkhin: "You are a student, please, look after her, so that she behaves the right way". Solomon was 27 years old then, and I was 17.

We fell in love with each other. He took me to the skating-rink, and once he exclaimed: "Why should I take care of her for someone else? Why don’t I make her my own wife? " I married him in 1932.

The wedding was a civil one, not Jewish. We had the usual party for friends. A friend of my husband was getting registered in the ZAGS [Civil Registry Office] that day too. My husband was an atheist.

After were registered our marriage in the ZAGS, a group of friends and my Dad gathered for a party. Mum didn’t come, because there was no khupa [wedding canopy].

My husband Solomon was categorically against having a religious ceremony, and Mom was terribly upset that her daughter’s wedding was not going to be celebrated in the religious way. So Mom didn’t come to my wedding in Leningrad at all!

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Rachel Averbukh