Lidia Lieberman with a colleague

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  • Photo taken in:
    Odessa
    Country name at time of photo:
    Soviet Union
    Country name today:
    Ukraine

It is me, Lidia Lieberman (on the right), and a colleague of mine at the laboratory of pathological anatomy in Odessa regional hospital. Her name is Svetlana Mikhaylova, she is a Russian woman. This photo was taken in Odessa in 1960s.

In 1953 I returned to Odessa from Novaya Vorontsovka, Kherson region where I worked as a dental technician. It was difficult to find a job. There was high competition. I didn't have either money to buy equipment or influential acquaintances, which could help me to get a job. My former fellow students changed their profession to something different. My neighbor and friend was a bacteriologist in a clinical laboratory in the regional hospital. She advised me to accept a job in the laboratory of pathological anatomy. She said they had a good team of employees there. I agreed. Director of the laboratory professor Chayutin, a Jew, was a short and deaf man. Professor asked me whether I was afraid of corpses. I answered that besides my grandfather I had had no contact with corpses. He said that one should beware of living people that could hurt. I was employed for a probation period with no payment.

Chayutin was a very captious, but fair manager. He was a very educated and intelligent man. I got adjusted to my new job and colleagues. There were few Jews in the laboratory: doctor Sophia Vladimirovna Derbarindiner - we all adored her -, and a lab assistant. I never faced any anti-Semitism. My colleagues treated me with respect. We made a great team together. At Easter our Russian colleagues brought Easter bread and other treats and I brought matzah at Pesach and hamantashen at Purim. My Jewish colleague, the lab assistant, kept her nationality a secret and our colleagues showed less respect toward her.

Interview details

Interviewee: Lidia Lieberman
Interviewer:
Ludmila Grinshpoon
Month of interview:
June
Year of interview:
2003
Odessa, Ukraine

KEY PERSON

Lidia Lieberman
Year of birth:
1929
City of birth:
Moscow
Country name at time of birth:
Soviet Union
Occupation
after WW II:
Assistant in health care

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