Efim Karpis and his second wife Raisa Karpis

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  • Photo taken in:
    Moscow
    Year when photo was taken:
    1963
    Country name at time of photo:
    USSR
    Country name today:
    Russia

The picture was made in Moscow in 1963 in my parents' house. This is my father Efim Karpis and his second wife Raisa Karpis is next to him. The picture was made on the day when father turned 70.

After WWII I and my husband lived with my parents in a room of 10 sq. m. Our daughter Sofia named after my deceased mother was born in 1951. When my daughter was born her baby-sitter also moved in our 10 sq. m. apartment. We made a partition with the wardrobe and put bed for the baby-sitter on another side. My daughter was premature born and quite feeble. I was taking good care of her. I had to work a lot and came home late at night. Sofia was missing me and did not go to sleep before I came. I fed her, tucked her in bed at night. In the morning she was sleeping, when I left for work. Mother cared for Sofia and loved her even more than other grandchildren. Once our neighbor told my daughter that Raisa was not her full-blood grandmother and that her full-blood grandmother passed away. It was a hard conversation for me. I said that I considered Raisa to be my mother because she raised me and taught me everything I knew. I also told her about my love for her and added if my daughter did not love her grandmother, it meant she did not love mother either. We never broached the subject again. Sofia and Raisa cared for each other. When I gave money to Sofia to buy a tit-bit, she bought something for grandmother. Raisa brought up Sofia very well. She taught her good manners. Sofia was a very pretty girl and I tried to dress her well. There was hardly anything pretty in the store and tried to do something by myself. When I was on duty at night I was sawing some piece and then stitched it at home.

Even after war my parents kept religious traditions. When we lived with them, we marked Jewish holidays together. When we lived separately we came over to their place to mark Jewish holidays. We understood how important it was for them. We did not observe those traditions in our family. Our daughter was aware that she was a Jew, but she was not raised in accordance with the Jewish religion and Jewish traditions. 

In the post-war period father worked as a deputy chief of the legal department of a large construction trusts. He retired at the age of 72. He kept in touch with us. He got along with grandchildren. Sofia was his favorite. Gradually father's health weakened, he could hardly walk. He died in 1968. He is buried at Vostryakovskoye cemetery in Moscow. In 1974 mother passed away.

Interview details

Interviewee: Rahil Shabad
Interviewer:
Svetlana Bogdanova
Month of interview:
July
Year of interview:
2004
Moscow, Russia

KEY PERSON

Efim Karpis
Jewish name:
Halm-Dovid
Year of birth:
1893
City of birth:
Olkeniki
Country name at time of birth:
Lithuania
Year of death:
1968
City of death:
Moscow
Country of death:
USSR
Occupation
before WW II:
Construction engineer
after WW II:
Deputy chief of the legal department of a large construction trusts

Other Person

Raisa Karpis
Jewish name:
Rahil
Year of birth:
1893
City of birth:
Krazial
Country name at time of birth:
Latvia
Year of death:
1974
City of death:
Moscow
Country of death:
USSR
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife
after WW II:
Housewife
  • Previous family name: 
    Slobodkina
    Year of changing: 
    1922
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

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