Tatiana Tilipman

Tatiana Tilipman

This is me, Tatiana Tilipman, at the age of 12. This photo was taken in Odessa in 1932. This photo was made during winter vacations when my father and I came to visit my older sister Ida in Odessa.

I was the youngest in the family. I was born in 1920. I was named Tuba, but in my documents I have the name of Tatiana. I was called 'a sis kopele' ['sweet head' in Yiddish] in the family since I remembered everything and absorbed knowledge like a sponge. I remembered all rules and traditions and everyday details our life consisted of. One of my earliest memories is associated with grandmother Rivka. Once I woke up in the morning and saw my grandmother sitting by my bed crying. It turned out that my parents went to my grandmother grandson Itzyk's wedding in Borovka, a neighboring village, and my grandmother was crying for her son Moisha who had not lived until Itzyk's wedding. My grandmother was too old to go to the wedding. I was too young to go to this wedding and we both stayed at home. To make up for this misfortune my parents gave me two kopecks to buy khalva with nuts. I remember getting a big piece of khalva in the store.

In 1932, when I was 12, my father and I went to visit my sister Ida in Odessa on winter holidays. My father packed bed sheets and other luggage to take them to Ida. We went to Vapnyarka station on a sledge with a cabman. My father helped me to get into a carriage when a conductor closed the door. I hit the conductor on his back with my fists screaming to him to let my father in, but he of course ignored me. My father remained on the steps and militia probably made him get off. I went as far as Kodyma station where my father sent a telegram for them to take me off the train with my luggage. I pulled myself together to behave like an adult. My co-travelers were sympathetic and joked goodheartedly: 'Don't believe her, can't you see, she is a profiteer with all her bags'. My father caught up with me taking the next train to Kodyma and then we came to Odessa. I saw many new and interesting things in Odessa. I saw an electric bulb for the first time in my life and I was the only one in my class who saw it. My brother Iosif, who worked in the shipyard, showed me the town. I remember the Transfiguration cathedral. There was a small cathedral in our town, but it wasn't as beautiful as this big one. They took me to the Opera Theater and to a museum, but I do not remember any details.

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