Year when photo was taken:1956Country name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Moldova
This picture was taken during our Volga trip on a motor ship called ‘Russia.’ I, Raisa Roitman, am on the left, my husband Nahman is next to me with my cousin Feiga Rubel, my elder son David is standing to the right in the front. The photo was taken in 1956.
I graduated from the Medical institute in 1949. I was sent to the department of preventive care by the health care ministry and was employed as a therapist part time. I have always had two jobs since our financial situation wasn’t favorable. I had to raise two children. The salaries of doctors and teachers weren’t high. I never got a promotion and remained in the same position. However, in 1956, after the revelations about Stalin’s personality cult, I had a new feeling of the wind of change. But in reality things didn’t change that much for the Jews. My husband was a talented historian. For several years he had been working on his dissertation but he couldn’t defend it as it was declared outdated. Then he wrote another thesis, on a different topic, and he was told the same. He remained an ordinary teacher for the rest of his life.
Our children were growing up like any other Soviet children: nursery, kindergarten. When they were ill, my mother often looked after them, and when my mother died, Father would help out. In 1959 we got an apartment, and finally moved out of that basement. I am currently living in that apartment.
My sons were excellent students, both of them finished school with a golden medal. We paid a lot of attention to our children and tried to bring them up as civilized people. We used to discuss the books, read by our boys. They read almost all the Russian and foreign classics. They also knew Sholem Aleichem. At that time he was the only Jewish writer, whose works were published in Russian.
We were theater-goers. We also liked to attend symphony concerts, go on excursions to Moscow, Kiev. One of our vacations was totally devoted to Leningrad, its palaces and museums. We went to the seaside, to the Crimea, the Caucasus. I can say we had a full life. Of course, we were not rich: we didn’t own a house or a car, but at least we had a well-furnished apartment. We also could afford good food, clothes and recreation.
My cousin Feiga has terrible memories of the war times. All of her fingers were amputated as a result of a severe frostbite. Feiga was married to Magelman and lived in Soroca with two sons.