Year when photo was taken:1916Country name at time of photo:Austria-Hungary, pre 1918Country name today:Ukraine
My father - Yudko Dubinsky (standing on the left) with some friends. The photo was made in Austria in around 1916. He was kept in captivity. The photo was made in a photo studio.
My father was Yudko Yakovlevich Dubinsky. He was born in 1887 in Boguslav. He left to live in Kiev very early. He left for Kiev because life in his native village was very hard. He was a hatter, he sewed hats and then he had to sell them, but the financial inspector demanded money from him, tried to find faults with him, and so he decided to leave.
My parents were strong believers. They went to the synagogue and prayed; we always celebrated every holiday. We had new things for every Passover: new clothes, new shoes and everything else. Old crockery was taken to the attic, and new Passover crockery was taken our of the attic.
I remember Passover Seders. Our father would ask his sons everything he should ask. He would ask questions and children would answer; we had matzo; the cloth table was white. And mother was very pleased to have a holiday, even though she was very tired because the family was large and she had to cook for everyone. But nevertheless she was happy to have a holiday and have everyone around one table.
My father had Russian, Jewish, Polish friends. He was an internationalist [laughing]. And my mother never quarreled with anyone else, never had a grudge against anybody. She always said, "God will forgive them; God is their judge". If something happened with the neighbors, if their child would do something wrong, she never accused anyone, but said that nobody should be judged and more attention should be given to people. My father served in the Tsarist army. During World War I he was captured and was kept in Austria. My mother was very religious; she kept kashrut all her life.
In March 1953, Stalin died. I remember everyone crying, and I cried, and my father said, "Why are you crying, silly girl, he had to be shot in the very beginning. It is his luck that he died his own death". My father understood people well.
Father lived until 1959, while my mother lived with me for a long time, until 1976. They were both religious, kept holidays even in the most difficult years. Nobody bothered him. The synagogue in Podol was functioning, they baked matzo there, and my parents celebrated Passover and other holidays. It was never noisy, but nobody hindered them.