The house where Naum Kravets's family lived in Uman

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  • Photo taken in:
    Uman
    Year when photo was taken:
    1923
    Country name at time of photo:
    USSR
    Country name today:
    Ukraine

This is the house of Doctor Rafalovich, where our family lived in Uman. We took two rooms on the 2nd floor and the balcony. The two windows to the right were ours.

My father took this picture before my parents left for Moscow. The picture was taken in Uman in 1923.

After the wedding, my father rented two rooms with balconies on the second floor of the two-storied mansion of Doctor Rafalovich.

In a year my parents had their first-born, who died as an infant. I don't even know his name. I was born on 4th January 1925.

Uman was a true Jewish town. The wisest and most educated Jews, tzaddiks, lived in Uman. There were a lot of synagogues and prayer houses in the town.

Before the revolution there were several cheders and one yeshivah. Of course, the Soviet regime closed down all those institutions when the struggle against religion commenced, but two large synagogues remained before World War II.

A lot of old buildings are still there, in the center of Uman. These are mostly two-storied log houses. The logs of the ground floor had a deep clay coating and the top was made of close fitted logs.

Uman is surrounded by thick forests, so wood was one of the most affordable construction materials. Rich Jews and the local intelligentsia [mostly Jewish] lived in the center of Uman.

There was a large pond far from the center. That was the area, where poor Jews lived. There were one-storied simpler buildings. But there were kitchen gardens, orchards and flower beds by those houses.

Mother's parents lived in that district, but father's parents lived in the center. The land plots were more expensive there. That is why there was no room for the orchard, just for a flower bed.

During my childhood my cousins and I often went to my maternal grandmother Enya to enjoy a tidbit - cherries, sweet cherries and raspberries.

Interview details

Interviewee: Naum Kravets
Interviewer:
Ella Levitskaya
Month of interview:
January
Year of interview:
2005
Moscow, Russia

KEY PERSON

Naum Kravets
Year of birth:
1925
Decade of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Uman
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Occupation
after WW II:
Engineer

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