Photo taken in:KievYear when photo was taken:1908Country name at time of photo:Russia, pre 1917Country name today:Ukraine
This is my mama, Nina Hotinskaya, nee Schukina.
Her Jewish name was Nehama. She's 16 years old here. This photo was taken in Kiev in 1908.
Mama moved to Kiev at the age of 16. She went to work at a tailor's shop in Kiev. She got involved in revolutionary activities, probably under the influence of her friends.
In 1910 she joined the Communist Party. She was 18 years old. The tsarist government persecuted revolutionaries. In the early 1910s my father was arrested and exiled to Siberia.
Mama told me that she was arrested at the age of 17. The gendarmes came early one morning and ordered her to get dressed and follow them. Mama asked them to wait for her outside and let her get dressed, considering that she was a woman.
The gendarmes looked at her nodding their heads: 'Oh yeah, a woman,' but they went outside. Mama was sentenced to six months in prison with regards to her young age. After my father returned from exile and Mama returned from jail they continued their revolutionary activities.
When I was small, Mama worked in the Central Supervisory Commission. She went to work early in the morning and returned home late at night.
At first my grandmother stayed with us taking care of me, but all other children wanted Grandmother to move to them and Mama hired a housemaid. When I was old enough, Mama sent me to the kindergarten.
Our housemaid or my grandmother picked me from the kindergarten in the evening. I could hear Mama's voice through my sleep, when she came home late at night. Mama believed that work was beyond everything else, particularly the party work, and I was growing up a self-sufficient child.