David Levin’s grandmother Lesya Meerson

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This photo was taken in 1930s in Leningrad, where Zinaida Diner (nee Meerson) moved together with her husband in late 1920s, just after my mother's.

Mother (there were quite a few children both in family of my mother and of my father, as usually in Jewish families before the [Russian] Revolution) had seven brothers and sisters. Step by step, beginning since 1928, they moved to Leningrad. Soon almost all relatives of my mother came here: brother Naum together with his family, brother Isaac, sister Zinaida, and sister Bertha. In Vitebsk Boris, sister Frada, sister Emma stayed, and one more brother died earlier, to my opinion.

We communicated to mother's relatives a lot. I saw my cousins every week, especially Efim and Zalman, the sons of aunt Bertha. There was also Zinovy, the son of Isaac, mother's brother. Often we celebrated holidays, all mother's brothers and sisters came to visit. Brother Naum, when drunk a little, began to argue to his wife, and everyone about that. In one room they placed about twenty or thirty people, a crowd of kids, it was very funny. Grandmother came to Leningrad too: hosted at one daughter, then at another one, and later she left for Vitebsk.

Mother's sister Zinaida was a librarian and worked in a library her entire life. She had a son, called Genrich, he was married to a Jewish girl with high education. When he studied at the Institute, he's got sick, and instead of that our doctors gave some medicine, he died. He was twenty eight, I think. He is buried in Jewish cemetery.

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Interviewee: David Levin
Nika Parhomovskaya
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St. Petersburg, Russia


Lesya Meerson
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before WW II:
Housewife, seamstress
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