Yoyl and Tsivia Vaksman

These are my parents, Tsivia and Yoyl Vaksman, at their golden wedding anniversary. This photo was taken in 1982 in our apartment in Kishinev.

In April 1945 we went home from evacuation. Of course, our way back home was much shorter as we took the train as passengers with tickets. I couldn’t recognize my native city. It was devastated. The central part was in shambles. Our pre-war apartment was also destroyed. A Moldovan lady leased a small room to us, where the three of us stayed before my father’s arrival.

Father worked at a shoe factory as a shoemaker. He was well-respected and became a foreman. My mother spent the whole day sawing as she did before the war. I helped her about the house, looking after my little sister.

In 1985 my father passed away without having a chance to rejoice in a great-grandchild. In 1994 my mother died. She had been afflicted with cancer for a while. When my mother got ill in 1990 I had to quit work to look after her. My husband and I didn’t observe religious traditions during the Soviet times. However, we went to my parents for Pesach. My mother always had matzah. My mother used to light candles on Fridays, and fasted during Yom Kippur. My parents always spoke Yiddish, so I know my mother tongue very well. I buried my parents at the Jewish cemetery according to the Jewish rite.