Communella Bunikovskaya’s parents Gita Bunikovskaya and Michael Bunikovskiy

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  • Photo taken in:
    Stalino
    Year when photo was taken:
    1930
    Country name at time of photo:
    USSR
    Country name today:
    Ukraine
My parents Gita and Michael Bunikovskiye. Stalino, 1930. My parents had a civil wedding ceremony and had their photograph made on this occasion. My father Moisey Bunikovskiy was born in Mariupol in 1905. My grandfather wanted his older son to become a rabbi. My father finished cheder. Perhaps he would have become a rabbi if it hadn't been for the revolution. My father didn't want to go to yeshiva. He ran away from home at the age of 14 at the beginning of the Civil War. He got to the Caucasus. He was strong and managed to get a job in the circus as an athlete. I don't remember exactly in what town he stayed in the Caucasus. He studied law and then entered a military infantry school in Vladicaucasus. He moved from one town to another for 10 years before he returned to Mariupol where he began to work as a legal adviser. Once he saw a picture of a young pretty girl in the family album and fell in love with the girl in the picture. She turned out to be his distant relative living in Stalino [Yuzovka at present - a regional industrial town] Donetsk region. My father went to Stalino where he found out my mother's address. He went to meet my mother. My mother returned his feelings and they got married in 1930. Nobody ever told whether they had a religious wedding. My mother Gita Bunikovskaya had to go to work when she was in her teens. In 1924 an employment office sent her to the plant at the Mining institute. My mother became an apprentice in a shop, but when her supervisor noticed that she had a nice handwriting she became a ship forwarder for shipment of casting. Since my mother was a clerk she couldn't enter a higher educational institution since they only admitted workers and children of workers. She didn't have any certificate or diploma and to get a document about some education she went to study at a course of Roentgenologists. After she finished this course she got a job related to her profession where she worked several months, but she had an urge to literary activities: writing poems, in particular. She used to say that poems were reflection of life. My mother was a self-educated woman, but she was smart and intelligent and had intelligent friends. She attended a literary club and all meetings with poets that came on tours. She knew some Ukrainian and Russian poets. In 1929 the plant where my mother worked was shut down. This was when my father came to Stalino. They met and fell in love with each other. They got married in 1930. My mother moved to Mariupol and they settled down with my father's parents. My father worked as legal adviser and my mother got a job with a small newspaper 'Priazovie Proletarian' that didn't exist long. On 9 April 1931 I was born. My mother named me Communella - she liked extraordinary and beautiful names. I was born in Stalino - I guess, my mother came to Stalino to have me born there. My place of birth is stated 'Stalino' in my birth certificate and my parents' name stated there are Jewish: Gita and Moisey. Old Jewish names were not popular at that time and many Jews took Russian names to keep up with the trends of time. In 1933 my mother changed her name to Vladia and my father became Michael. Shortly after I was born my mother went back to Mariupol and continued to work for the newspaper. At the beginning of 1934 my parents and I moved to Stalino: my father got a new job at the regional department of NKVD. On 9 October 1934 my younger sister Inessa [Inna short from Inessa - her family called her by this name] was born. My parents' friends' doctors, engineers and lawyers often got together at our home on weekends. They listened to music, danced and talked and children played in our room. We only had a radio at home and guests often brought a wireless and records with them.

Interview details

Interviewee: Communella Bunikovskaya
Interviewer:
Inna Zlotnik
Month of interview:
January
Year of interview:
2003
Kiev, Ukraine

KEY PERSON

Vladia Bunikovskaya
Jewish name:
Gita
Year of birth:
1909
City of birth:
Yuzovka
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Year of death:
1999
City of death:
Kiev
Country of death:
Ukraine
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Journalist/editor
after WW II:
Journalist/editor
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Dubrova
    Year of changing: 
    1930
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

Other Person

Michael Bunikovskiy
Jewish name:
Moisey
Year of birth:
1905
City of birth:
Mariupol
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Year of death:
1980
City of death:
Kiev
Country of death:
USSR
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Professional
after WW II:
Lawyer

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