Country name at time of photo:RussiaCountry name today:Russia
This is a photo of my father, Isaak Eizerovich Alpert. It was taken in the 1910s, place unknown.
My father was called Isaak Lazarevich Alpert, but as a matter of fact, he was Isaak Eizerovich, I mean that the real name of his father was Eizer, not Lazar. Lazar was the Russian version of it. And Father preferred to be Lazarevich, because it was easier to pronounce. He was born in 1892. His relatives lived in the village of Dyatlovo, a small Jewish borough in Grodno province, not far from Grodno, in Belarus. They had a huge family, twelve children, including him.
Father didn't have any secular education, however he had a Jewish one, and he had gotten that one in Dyatlovo. He came to Russia the following way. When World War I started he was mobilized and served in the Russian Army. It seems to me, he was an ordinary soldier in the infantry. They reached Austria and somewhere in Austria he was taken prisoner. It's good that it wasn't Germany because in Austria they were a bit more liberal to Jews. Later on, somehow he found himself in Italy, and some Italian woman fell in love with him. He told her, 'I'm a Jew!', and she replied, 'That's okay.' However, he decided to come back, and after the war, in 1918, he happened to be in Russia, in Bologoye. He was alone, without relatives, his family was abroad since their village happened to be in Poland in those times. In Bologoye someone proposed him to marry my mother. Some friend of his, whom he came to, suggested: 'You could marry her.'