Busia Makalets and her family

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This is me and my family. This photo was taken in Kishinev in 2003. From left to right: my sister Tania's daughter Monique Fragoas, my daughter Tatiana Kasymova, my grandson Yevgeniy Kasymov. This photo was taken in my daughter's apartment on the occasion of Monique's visit. 

During perestroika Christian and Frania visited Kishinev and made me a surprise, bringing my niece Monique with them. I told Monique about her mother and Monique got attached to me and Tatiana. I also love her dearly. She visited us three times. Monique studies Russian to be able to talk to us. When I talk with her on the phone, I really get exhausted. Unfortunately, I lost contact with Aviezer’s daughters and grandchildren. They don’t know Russian or Yiddish, and I almost forgot Hebrew and it’s hard to communicate. 

I knew little about the revival of Jewish life in Kishinev in the 1990s. I didn’t even know about Hesed. However, they found me and put me on the lists of Hesed. I became an active member of the community, particularly since I knew Hebrew and can sing Jewish songs. I attend the warm house where I told my aunt Zelda’s story and sang Jewish songs. However, lately I’ve felt ill twice due to the spasm of vessels. I don’t leave home alone. A few times a month they send a car to take me to the warm house. I pay for the apartment and utility fees from my pension. I refused the food packages since it is hard for me to cook. I am 85 years old. Hesed delivers dinners for me at home twice a week. I have these trousers and slippers from Hesed. My posh quilt blanket is also from Hesed. I mean to say my well-being is Hesed.

My grandson Yevgeniy knows that on his mother’s side he is a Jew. He studies in a Moldovan school by the German system of Waldorf. He is a talented boy. He knows Moldovan and German. He’s been in a Jewish camp twice. I asked him, ‘How are the Jewish children? – and he replied, ‘Grandma, there are many Jewish boys like me there.’ 

Interview details

Interviewee: Busia Makalets
Nathalia Fomina
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Kishinev, Moldova


Busia Makalets
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Music editor in the Moldovan Radio committee
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Other Person

Tatiana Kasymova
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