Photo taken in:KievYear when photo was taken:1955Country name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Ukraine
This is my husband Isaac (first from the right), and his distant relatives in this photo. He is wearing his military uniform since he stayed for additional service. This photo was taken near Kiev, USSR, in 1955.
I don't know how religious Isaac's family was, but he knew Yiddish well. He often talked Yiddish with his mother. Before World War II Isaac finished the 6th form at school. In 1940 his stepfather died. During World War II the family was in evacuation in the Altay region. After the war they returned to Kiev. Their house was ruined during bombing and Isaac and Rieva had no relatives in Kiev. Rieva's stepchildren stayed in Kiev and Rieva and her son moved to Lvov [500 km from Kiev]. Isaac didn't go back to school. He didn't get any education at home: his mother was too busy trying to survive through trying times. Isaac went to a factory vocational school at the mechanic plant and spent his leisure time with other children like himself. They even used to steal food from vendors at the market. At the age of 18 Isaac went to the army. My husband told me that service in the army saved him from the way of life that he had led before: at least, he got food and clothes in the army. After mandatory term of service he remained in the army. He had no other alternative. When he was in the army he finished an evening higher secondary school. This was all education he got.
When my husband became a professional military he received a room in a barrack in Uzhhorod. His mother joined him there. After we got married we lived in this barrack for few years. We registered our marriage in a registry office and then had a small wedding dinner with Isaac's mother, my aunt Ghenia and her daughters and my closest friend Ada. None of us was religious and we didn't even mention a religious wedding. In 1957 our older daughter Irina was born. Our second daughter Galina was born in 1961.
Neither my husband nor I were members of the Communist party. In his youth my husband was a Komsomol member and secretary of the Komsomol unit of his military unit, but when he overgrew his Komsomol age and was offered to join the Party Isaac refused. He believed it was a great responsibility and a big honor to be a communist and he didn't deserve it as yet. It's hard to say whether this had an impact on his career or it was his national origin, but he never got promotions when his time came and received higher ranks with big delays.