Ester Vee with her grandfather Afraim Rokhlin

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  • Photo taken in:
    Tallinn
    Year when photo was taken:
    1936
    Country name at time of photo:
    Estonia
    Country name today:
    Estonia

This is me and my paternal grandfather Afraim Rokhlin. My grandfather loved me dearly and spent a lot of time with me. This photo was taken in Tallinn in 1936.

I was born in 1931. My parents gave me the name of Esther. Before I was born my mother quit her job and earned money by knitting children’s socks and hats, which she delivered to a store. My grandmother and grandfather insisted that my parents left me with them. They believed this would enable my father to dedicate sufficient time to his studies. So I was left with my grandfather and grandmother in Tallinn. My parents stayed in Tartu.

My grandparents loved me a lot. My grandmother and my grandfather’s sister Riva took care of me. The whole family loved and pampered me. After my father graduated from Tartu University my parents moved to Tallinn. My parents rented an apartment, and I returned to my parents. Initially they rented a smaller apartment in Imante Street. I have very dim memories of this period.

We spoke Estonian at home, but it wasn’t because my mother was Estonian. My grandmother and grandfather also spoke Estonian. They knew Yiddish and so did their children. I also knew some words in Yiddish, but not sufficient to communicate in Yiddish. I often mixed Estonian and Yiddish words. I learned to write and read in Estonian at the age of four. I couldn’t understand why some letters were dotted and others were written with a small tilde. I wrote all letters with this tilde saying that it was a fair thing to do. It took me almost a year to write letters properly.

When I learned to read, I spent much time reading. Stories about children were my favorite. I had several Estonian books about children, and I loved them a lot. I knew them by heart, actually, but this never stopped me from reading them again and again. I also liked drawing and spent a lot of time drawing.

Interview details

Interviewee: Ester Vee
Interviewer:
Ella Levitskaya
Month of interview:
March
Year of interview:
2006
Tallinn , Estonia

KEY PERSON

Ester Vee
Jewish name:
Ester
Year of birth:
1931
City of birth:
Tartu
Country name at time of birth:
Estonia
Occupation
after WW II:
Estonian teacher

Other Person

Afraim Rokhlin
Jewish name:
Afraim
Year of birth:
1887
City of birth:
Gomel
Country name at time of birth:
Russia pre 1917
Year of death:
1964
City of death:
Tallinn
Country of death:
USSR
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Dental mechanic
after WW II:
Dental mechanic

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