Photo taken in:TolochinYear when photo was taken:1933Country name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Russia
This is the family of Sorkins. Lower row from left to right: Perl - Abram's mother, great-grandmother Golda - Abram's wife, grandmother. Upper row from left to right: Alexander Sorkin - mother's brother, my mother Tsiva before marriage.
The snapshot was made in the district centre Tolochin in 1933. It was a hungry year, we are all dressed modestly, grandmother Golda's cheeks are hollow. Tsiva was a student of the Leningrad Institute of Technology at that time and came for summer vacations to her parents.
My ancestors on mother's line came from Belorussia. My maternal grandfather, Abram [Avraam] Mendelevich Sorkin, was born in a small Jewish town of Drutsk, Tolochin district, Belorussia, in 1885.
Later he moved to the town of Tolochin with his family. He was a handicraftsman by speciality. His last job was a storekeeper in the artel "The Red Fuller".
He was religious, observed all Jewish traditions. His native language was Yiddish. He couldn't write Russian. He did not serve in the army because of his poor health and as the single son of his mother Perl, my great-grandmother. Perl Sorokina was born in Belorussia in 1850, was a housewife, had a poor health, but strong character.
Grandfather Abram remained single for quite a long time until his mother allowed him to get married. His wife, my grandmother Golda, recollected, that they hadn't left for America in the 1920s, when all their close relatives were leaving, because her husband could not oppose his mother Perl, who categorically objected to his departure.
The moment for emigration was quite convenient because their children were still young and didn't have their own families.
However, Abram, as an obedient Jewish son, followed his mother's advice. Great-grandmother Perl lived up to a very old age and died in 1936, after the arrest of her son, my grandfather. He perished in 1937 upon false denunciation.