Photo taken in:KievCountry name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Ukraine
My father's sisters: Manya Gertsensteyn, Makhlya Gudzenko, and their niece Tsipa Belokopytova. The photo was taken in Kiev in the 1920s. My grandparents had seven children. All of the children had some profession. My grandfather's name was Leib Ramantsky. That's why all girls who were born to the Ratmansky family were named Lubov, and all the boys, Lev. Kiev was outside the Jewish Pale of Settlement, but my grandfather was allowed to live in Kiev as a craftsman. He was an ink maker - he made ink according to his own recipe. His sons were allowed to live in Kiev until they came of age, and his daughters, until they got married. My grandparents were religious. Some of their children and grandchildren were religious, too, and some weren't. My father didn't tell me about the life of his family before the Revolution of 1917. Before 1917 they didn't hide their Jewish origin, but afterwards, somehow it didn't seem the right time to talk about it. I only know that the family was very poor. Aunt Manya was a nurse, and during World War II she was at the front. In general she worked in different military hospitals. Aunt Vera and aunt Makhlya were tailors. Aunt Tsipa and her husband had horses and a stable. When we moved to Kiev in 1917, we lived in my paternal grandmother's flat. Aunt Tsipa and her family also lived there. Her husband drew horses very well. Every time we would come over, he would draw horses for us. Their son Pinya became an artist. His children still live in the same street that we lived in.