Yakov Borukhovich Livshits and Lyubov Borukhovna Livshits

This photo shows my mother's brother and sister, my uncle Yakov Borukhovich Livshits (1914-1991) and aunt Lyubov Borukhovna Livshits (1915). Uncle Yasha was wounded at the front, and the photo shows them after he left the hospital and was living in Rostov with Aunt Lyuba.

My mother had two sisters, Lyuba and Zina, and four brothers, Evsei [Zyama], Senya, Yasha and Grisha. Senya was the first one to leave the village of Bolshaya Lovcha and settle in Leningrad. Grandmother's brother Evsei already lived in the city. Because Senya was a very talented boy, Uncle Evsei invited him to Leningrad to study. It was in 1935-1936. Senya entered the university and then 'dragged' the others to Leningrad: my mom, Grisha, Evsei, and aunt Zina. Aunt Lyuba stayed with her parents in Bolshaya Lovcha. After she graduated from a Jewish school there, she moved to Rostov and entered a vocational school. Then she worked in a telephone substation. Now, of all mother's large family, only one person is left alive - Aunt Lyuba, Lyubov Borukhovna. She lives in Leningrad now, in Dachny Avenue, she is 87 years old.

Uncle Yasha fought in the war and suffered permanent injuries. He was wounded in the first days of war, at the Leningrad front, and was taken at once to Leningrad. When mother was informed that Yasha was wounded, she came running to the hospital. She could hardly recognize him at first. He asked her, 'Manya, look, what did they hang there, on the back of my bed?' Asheet of paper with a red cross on it was attached there. She said, 'Yashenkà, it's a cross'. And he said, 'It means, Manya, that you may as well not come again, I will not survive.' When mother pulled away the blanket, she saw that his leg was badly hurt, in the shin, or higher, in the hip? And Mom used to tell me that there were so many worms in the wound that she had never seen anything like it. Mother still continued to go to the hospital every day. Later, when the bombardments of Leningrad began, the hospital was evacuated. Mother's story went like this: 'I packed his things and helped him get into the railway car with other people. And a few days later we heard that the train had been bombed and destroyed and only one car remained intact. And by miracle Uncle Yasha was in that very car. He stayed alive.' He was evacuated to Rostov-on-Don. Then he was given shelter by Aunt Lyuba in Rostov-on-Don. Later, after the war, in 1947, he returned to Leningrad to the same room in 11 Communications Union Street where my parents? family had lived, and got married. He married a Jewish girl Rosa Lifshits [nee unknown], who had no parents and was brought up in an orphanage. A son, Borya, was born to them in 1948. But Uncle Yasha's illness steadily got worse. First he could only walk with a stick, then he could not walk at all. He developed a terrible weak-mindedness, and we had a lot of trouble with him. He got lost in town several times, and we had to look for him. Uncle Yasha passed away around 1992. He loved Pavlovsk very much; his elder sister Zina lived there and he often went there to visit her, so we buried him in Pavlovsk. His sister Zina is buried there; she died later - in 1994.