Photo taken in:UzhgorodYear when photo was taken:1965Country name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Ukraine
These are my children. On the left is my younger daughter Galina, she is four years old. On the right is my older daughter Irina, she is 8 years old. This photo was taken in Uzhhorod in 1965.
In 1957 our older daughter Irina was born. Our second daughter Galina was born in 1961. After my older daughter was born I didn't have any problems and Irina was growing a strong and healthy girl. I began to have problems after Galina was born. My daughter was a difficult girl and didn't develop like other babies. She couldn't even sit when she turned one year old. When I took Galina to a professor pediatrician he said that she had 'children's cerebral palsy'. He told me that my daughter would never grow to be a normal person and that she would remain a creature with no mind or motion and would be not able to lead an independent life. But I didn't believe it was a final sentence. I took my daughter to doctors in big towns and was hoping for good luck. It's horrible to recall what my baby and I had to bear, but it worked. At the age of 8 my daughter went to the first form of an elementary school. She could read and write already. She couldn't walk well. She often fell injuring her knees. Her schoolmates teased her for her handicaps. Galina had a strong character and strong will and she finished school with a golden medal regardless of anti-Semitism of this period. It was next to impossible for a Jew to receive a gold medal, but my daughter did it.
After finishing school my older daughter Irina entered the Faculty of Mathematics of Uzhhorod University. Irina was a good student. She was number three on the list of best students of her faculty. Irina got a job assignment and went to work as a teacher of physics at school in Artyomovsk town in the east of Ukraine in Donetsk region [665 km from Kiev]. Irina was the only teacher of physics in this school and she also taught physics at the extramural department of the Pedagogical College in Artyomovsk. Irina lived in a hostel. Other people were friendly toward her. She didn't face any anti-Semitism. The only thing that made her sad was that she didn't have a good place to live. Because of this Irina returned to Uzhhorod in 1983. Irina couldn't find work at school and went to work as an engineer at the Uzhhorodpribor plant. Both daughters were with us.
My younger daughter Galina also decided to go to college after finishing school with a gold medal, but I was shocked to hear that she intended to go to the Lvov University. I couldn't imagine how Galena would manage without my help, but she insisted on it. She passed her entrance exams successfully and was admitted to the Construction Faculty of the Lvov Polytechnic University. My daughter shared her room in the hostel with three Ukrainian girls from Western Ukraine. They treated her well and helped her to cope with everyday routines. Galena had walking problems and it was difficult for her to go downstairs. Other girls held her by her hand and she always had support. She helped others with their studies. She still keeps in touch with her University friends. They correspond and visit Galina. In 1983 Galina graduated from the university with honors and got a job assignment to a construction trust in Uzhhorod. She has worked as an engineer there for 20 years. Although they often reduce staff in her office Galina continues to work there.