Anna Sirota

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  • Photo taken in:
    Priluki
    Year when photo was taken:
    1909
    Country name at time of photo:
    Russia, pre 1917
    Country name today:
    Ukraine

My mother Anna Sirota, nee Ghivertz, at the age of 17. She was a pharmacist apprentice at the time. She received her first salary and decided to have her photograph taken in a photo shop. This photo was taken in Priluki in 1909.

My mother didn’t like to recall her childhood. Probably, it was difficult. Her brother Isaac, born in 1887, and her sister Rosa, born in 1889, had Ukrainian baby-sitters, who taught them to speak Ukrainian and sang Ukrainian songs to them. I don’t know my grandfather’s second wife’s name. They had two more children, two girls, whose names I don’t know either. 

My grandfather’s children from his first marriage didn’t like their stepmother and played tricks on her. I don’t remember any details since the family didn’t talk about it. It resulted in a scandal. My grandfather ordered his older son Isaac to leave the house. Sister Rosa and my mother Anna stood up for their brother. They left the house as well.

My mother had to live on her own since the age of 14. She studied in a Jewish school for girls in Priluki, living with her aunt, my grandmother’s sister Esther. The families where my mother lived when she was a girl spoke Ukrainian and she didn’t learn spoken Yiddish and in her school she learned to read and write in Yiddish. My mother was not religious. At the age of 17 my mother became an apprentice of a pharmacist. This was a good profession, but it didn’t bring much money. My mother was poor and lived in a room in the pharmacy. 

Interview details

Interviewee: Susanna Sirota
Interviewer:
Ella Orlikova
Month of interview:
August
Year of interview:
2003
Kiev, Ukraine

KEY PERSON

Anna Sirota
Jewish name:
Hanna
Year of birth:
1892
City of birth:
Ivanivtsi
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Year of death:
1973
City of death:
Kiev
Country of death:
USSR
Died:
after WW II
Died where:
Kiev
Occupation
before WW II:
Pharmacist
after WW II:
Retail clerk
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Ghivertz
    Year of changing: 
    1921
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

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