Photo taken in:KirovogradYear when photo was taken:1925Country name at time of photo:Soviet UnionCountry name today:Ukraine
This is a picture of my mother, Rachil Kogan, holding me. This photo was taken in Kirovograd in 1925.
My mother Rachil Anhert was born on 13 January 1903. My mother finished a elementary school in Malaya Viska village. My mother was of average height, thin and had brown hair. She had thin features and beautiful hazel eyes. People said she looked like a Greek woman. She was smart, kind, and sympathetic. She always helped the needy. She loved my brother and me, but we were actually raised by my father. My mother had to do housekeeping besides going to work. My parents never told us how they met. I think they met in Novomirgorod. Malaya Viska was near Novomirgorod. Before the Great Patriotic War we rented a house with a gorgeous big garden every summer. We occasionally took walks to Malaya Viska village. It was a small and green house. My parents never showed us their parents' houses.
In 1923 my father went to work in Kirovograd by a Komsomol assignment. My mother Rachil Anhert followed him from Novomirgorod. My parents got married in Kirovograd on 14 January 1924. My parents rented a two-bedroom furnished apartment. My father worked in the Komsomol regional committee and my mother was assistant accountant in an office. My parents were not religious. They didn't celebrate Jewish holidays or go to the synagogue. They spoke Russian at home.
I was born in Kirovograd on 9 November 1925. We had a housemaid that looked after me. She lived with us for about three years. I can vaguely remember her. She didn't look young to me. She wasn't a tidy woman. I remember once stepping into my mother's galoshes and walking in the apartment when I slipped over an empty tin and injured my forehead. I still have a scar.
In 1928 my father was sent to work in Odessa. In Odessa we lived in a communal apartment on the 3rd floor, in a house in Olgiyeskaya Street in the central part of Odessa. There was a bathroom, a toilet and coal stoked stoves. In 1928 my father entered Communications College in Odessa. He attended classes and mother took up any work to support the family. On 30 March 1933 my brother Yuri was born in Odessa. In 1939 my mother entered the College of Foreign languages in Odessa.
During Great Patriotic War my mother, my brother and I evacuated to Dzhambul region in Kazakhstan [3 800 km from Odessa] where we lived at Burnoye station in 62 km from Dzhambul. My mother went to work as English teacher at high school of the railroad department. She received a one-bedroom apartment in a house near the railroad. There was a big room heated with wood stoked stove. There was a pump and a toilet in the yard. We were very poor and didn't have anything to eat. My mother made borsch with beet leaves and flat cookies from potato peels and bran. My mother bought a goat. My brother Yuri and I took it to a pasture. I milked it and we had milk. We used to buy some food products at the market. My brother went to the second grade and I went to the eighth grade at the school where my mother was working.
After the returning to Odessa when the war ended my mother finished the College of Foreign languages and worked as an English teacher in the Technological College named after Lomonosov. Later she went to work at the Department of Foreign languages in Communications College.
My mother died in 1991. She had fracture of femoral neck and she was bedridden for half a year. She was 88 years old. My mother was buried in the international cemetery in Odessa. She was not buried in accordance with the Jewish tradition.