Photo taken in:RigaYear when photo was taken:1983Country name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Latvia
This is my husband Vladimir Polubelov and me on my 50th birthday. The picture was taken in our place in Riga in 1983. In the 1970s, the Soviet regime permitted Jews to immigrate to Israel. I didn't even consider that opportunity. My husband was Russian and it was unlikely for him to immigrate to Israel. There was no sense in leaving. I liked my job. My colleagues treated me loyally. I didn't think our lives to be too bad, so I didn't even consider immigration. I sympathized with those who were immigrating, I even pitied them as they were doomed to live far away from their friends and kin and have a different mode of life. I understood that they would have to get acclimatized and take trouble in finding a place to live and a job. At that time many of my friends left as well as my relatives: my cousin Valentin, Uncle Samuel's son, cousin Lucien. Uncle Samuel's daughter Noemi immigrated to America. I was worried about them. I was happy that they were able to blend in with new life. We keep in touch. They send me nice letters. The most important thing is that they are confident in the future of their children and grandchildren. I retired in 1988 during perestroika. Many people admired the early stage of perestroika and were agog to see the changes in life. I took it as another action of the Soviet regime and was skeptical towards it. Even now I can't say what perestroika gave me. I wasn't at the age to rejoice in liberty of words, press, traveling. Of course USSR citizens got an opportunity to go abroad and invite their relatives after perestroika, but I was elderly and sick, so there was no use in going anywhere.