Pinkus Geftman and his family

  • Photo taken in:
    Year when photo was taken:
    Country name at time of photo:
    Austria-Hungary, pre 1918
    Country name today:
    Czech Republic

These are my maternal grandparents with their children at a spa in Karlsbad. The picture was taken in 1903. From left to right standing: my grandmother Julia Geftman, my mother Rosalia Goldenberg, nee Geftman, and an acquaintance of ours, grandfather Pinkus Geftman, aunt Sarah's husband, and mothers' sister Sarah Upstein, nee Geftman are standing.

My mother’s entire family was rather religious except for my mother. They stuck to all major Jewish traditions, observed Sabbath, went to the synagogue during holidays, but they wore mundane clothes. My grandparents and their children strove to help out people in their surroundings. They always were charitable. I was told by my mother that every time before the holidays they gave dowry to the brides from poor families. My grandfather took the most active part in it. Being so go-getting and brisk he raised such a big family. All children finished lyceums and almost all of them got higher education.

Before the revolution Grandfather had heart problems, and his sugar was high in blood. He was taken to Karlovy Vary and Yessentuki in the Caucasus every year. The whole family went there. They had fun, making hoaxes and putting on pageant costumes. Grandfather died in 1926 and was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Paris, France.

My mother had two sisters and four brothers. Her sisters’ names were Maria and Sarah, and her brothers’ names were Joseph, Alexander, Grigoriy and Konstantin.

Mother’s younger sister Sarah was born in 1895. She was very close with my mother. Sarah married a Jew, Upstein, and left for Kiev with him. I do not remember his name. I know he was a wealthy man, and they were happy together. They had a son, Victor. Sarah lost her husband while she was young. Nobody could assume that he would die so young. He got ill. His disease progressed, and he suddenly passed away. His property was insured, but the insurance was not paid on time. He lost everything. Uncle Joseph strove to look into the matter, but he could not save much of the inherited property. They were able to buy only a beautician’s office for the saved money from the inheritance.

After the Revolution of 1917 Sarah’s family lived in Warsaw, Poland, and after her husband’s death she went to her relatives in France. She worked as a beautician in France. She had her own saloon.

Interview details

Interviewee: Tamara Goldenberg
Svetlana Bogdanova
Month of interview:
Year of interview:
Moscow, Russia


Pinkus Geftman
Country name at time of birth:
Year of death:
City of death:
Country of death:
before WW II
before WW II:
Businessman, Retail merchant

Other Person

Julia Geftman
City of birth:
Country name at time of birth:
Died where:
before WW II:

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