Photo taken in:BerdichevYear when photo was taken:1916Country name at time of photo:Russia, pre 1917Country name today:Ukraine
This is my mother Revekka Winner. This photo was taken in Berdichev where she was visiting, in the Rozenbaum photo shop in 1916. I always had this photo with me. I had it in my note book that I ad in evacuation with me and so it has been preserved.
My mother Revekka Winner was born in 1900. She helped her mother Feiga about the house before getting married. My mother had no education: my grandfather could not afford to pay for a teacher, but she studied in an elementary Jewish school for a year or two. Revekka was very quiet, even phlegmatic. She was a very tight-lipped person. I am sure that her marriage was prearranged by shadkhanim considering her personality.
My parents got married in 1918. Of course, there was a chuppah at the synagogue, but there was no big wedding party due to the hard times: this was the period of the civil war, when the power switched from one group to another resulting in pogroms. After the wedding the newly weds settled down in grandfather Yefim's house that was bigger and more comfortable than my mother parents' apartment.
I Frieda Ladinzon, was born on 17 June 1919 in Murafa. In early 1920, when I was a little over six months, my parents, my grandmother and grandfather Ladinzons and my father's brothers left the house and all their belongings to move for Kiev escaping from pogroms. Uncle Abram lived in Kiev. He was rich and bought a two-bedroom apartment in the center of Kiev in Shota Rustaveli Street for us, and a good big room in an old building in Krasnoarmeyskaya Street. Our family was very poor and if it hadn't been for my uncle Abram's support we wouldn't have survived the famine in the 1920s.
My sister was born in 1924. She was named Yelizaveta, everybody called her Lisa. My father had a permanent job at the 'Tochelectropribor' (electric devices) plant. My mother was a housewife. After Lisa was born, and her delivery had complications, my mother became weird. She could sit idly staring into one point for hours. She didn't cook. She happened to suffer from schizophrenia from her teens, but it was kept a secret from my father, but he would have never married her had he known. My mother had to stay in mental hospital for long periods. My father and I visited her on Sundays. She was quiet and looked enlightened when we came to see her in the hospital located on a high hill and it was hard to believe that mother was ill.
During the famine in Ukraine in the early 1930s our family was probably in a more miserable situation than the others. In summer 1932 my father moved to his sister in Balaklava (a town near Sevastopol). He explained that he wanted to find a good job there to support us better, but when I grew up I realized that just left my mother; he got tired of her disease, fault-finding and of the misery of life. He probably intended to support us, but he couldn’t find a decent job there. My mother, during intervals between attacks of her disease and her retirement to the hospital worked in a cafeteria washing dishes and peeling potatoes and vegetables. It was hard for my mother to raise the two of us and I went to live with grandmother Pesia. I liked it more with my grandmother, she was very kind to me. My grandmother also cooked for my mother and Lisa and I took the food to them.