Efim Tseitlin with work colleagues

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This picture was taken in Tambov in 1925. My father, Efim Tseitlin, is sitting in the first row, first from left. At that time he had been sent to the Tambov region, to act as a storekeeper during the construction of a grain elevator, so this picture was taken on the spot of these works, and my father here is together with the representatives of the local authorities.

At that time the well-known Antonov gang was active in the Tambov region. Makhno bandits also operated there and it was they who eventually burnt down the elevator when it was almost completed. That is how they took revenge on Soviet authority.

During his lifetime my father changed a number of professions and places of work. For example, later on father was a cashier at the Saratov boiler factory. It was in the 1930s. He paid out wages to workers, brought money from the bank, issued bonds. He died in 1939 in Saratov. His funeral was attended by the entire factory. We lived in the same street as the boiler factory. And the funeral procession went past the factory and on to the cemetery, the cemetery was just right ahead. And when people were passing the factory, someone there decided to blow the factory hooter, and all the workers were asked to come out and bid farewell to Efim Yakovlevich. He was buried with honors.

But when I went to Saratov in 1979 to bury his daughter, my sister Sonya. I did not find his tomb. During the war Saratov was bombed by the Germans and two or three bombs fell on the Jewish cemetery. I searched there for the graves of my mother and father, but to no avail. I found two or three holes, and some destroyed tombstones down there.

Interview details

Interviewee: Naum Tseitlin
Zinovy Chereisky
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St. Petersburg, Russia


Efim Tseitlin
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before WW II
before WW II:
Retail clerk

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