Molka Mirskaya with her sister Musya Weinstein

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  • Photo taken in:
    Kishinev
    Year when photo was taken:
    1953
    Country name at time of photo:
    USSR
    Country name today:
    Moldova

This is me with my sister Musya Weinstein, celebrating New Year of 1953 at the library, where I used to work in Kishinev.

In the summer of 1946 Father came back, which made me really happy. We didn’t want to leave him for a minute. The three of us laughed and cried, clustered together. Father couldn’t get over my brother’s and his parents’ death for a long time. Uncle Nysl came back from evacuation with his family. He also became disabled. His leg was amputated after he was afflicted with diabetes. Father and my legless uncle found a small deserted house and began fixing it. They looked for old construction materials, ransacked the shambles and finally were able to fix two little rooms in the house. One of those rooms was taken by Nysl’s family, and the other by my family and Uncle Avrum. Soon, our family got bigger. My mother got pregnant, and my parents decided that it was a godsend. They thought if this were a boy, they would stop mourning over Shepshel. But in 1948 a girl was born. They named her Musya. My parents and I loved her very much. In 1947 Father found his niece Raya, the daughter of his perished sister Rosa. He went to Ivanovo and took her from the orphanage. Raya settled in with us. So, there were six of us sharing one room. My parents and little Musya slept on a big bed bought at the market. Raya and I shared a trestle bed. Avrum slept on the floor.

I finished seven grades of school. I was a good student. I was keen on literature and was an avid reader. I went to the library every other day.  I was glued to books and ‘gulped them up.’ I read while walking, in a tram. They knew me and loved me in the library. My parents advised me to find a job after I had finished seven grades, as it was hard for them to keep me and my little sister. I talked about it in the library. The head of the library offered me a job there. First I was taught how to distribute books on shelves, hand out books, work with catalogues and soon I became a competent librarian. I finished evening school while I was working. The head of the library recommended me to enter a librarians’ school, located in the town of Soroki, not far from Kishinev. I passed the entrance exams successfully and I was enrolled for the second year of the extramural department. I worked in my library, and still read books in bouts. I took exams twice a year. After obtaining a diploma, I was appointed the senior librarian.

Now my sister Musya lives in Israel. She didn’t go on with her higher education after finishing school. She got married, and then divorced. Her second marriage with a Moldovan Jew Shunya Weinstein turned out to be very happy. Musya and Shunya left Israel at the end of the 1970s. Musya has a daughter, Lilia, who works as a teacher.

Interview details

Interviewee: Molka Mirskaya
Interviewer:
Zhanna Litinskaya
Month of interview:
July
Year of interview:
2004
Kishinev, Moldova

KEY PERSON

Molka Mirskaya
Jewish name:
Molka
Year of birth:
1933
City of birth:
Kishinev
Country name at time of birth:
Romania
Occupation
after WW II:
Librarian
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Valksman
    Year of changing: 
    1957
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

Other Person

Musya Weinstein
Jewish name:
Musya
Year of birth:
1948
City of birth:
Kishinev
Country name at time of birth:
USSR
Occupation
after WW II:
Manual laborer
  • Previous family name: 
    Vaksman
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1970

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