Photo taken in:OdessaYear when photo was taken:1941Country name at time of photo:Soviet UnionCountry name today:Ukraine
This is me and my father's brother David and my brother Yuri. This photo was taken in Odessa in 1941.
David was born in 1905. He was a railroad technician and lived in Moscow. David was single. During the Great Patriotic War he was commander of rocket launcher platoon. He perished during defense of Leningrad in 1941.
Our family lived in a communal apartment on the 3rd floor, in a house in Olgiyeskaya Street in the central part of Odessa. I remember Odessa in spring, in March, when the snow was melting making streams and children were still playing snowballs. I spent my childhood in the yard where there were many children. We arranged concerts and our parents even installed a stage in the yard. My father liked opera and took me to the opera theater with him. After a performance I used to hum the tunes of arias to myself. I took my brother Yuri to the kindergarten in the morning and our parents picked him in the evening. When Yuri went to school he and I went there together in the morning. Yuri was a smart boy and studied very well.
In summer 1941 I finished the 7th form with all excellent marks, got an award of honor and my parents sent me to aunt Rosalia, my father's sister, in Kratovo, near Moscow. I arrived at Kratovo on 17 June and on 22 June the war began. A month later my aunt's family and I went to Tashkent by train. My mother and brother followed us from Odessa: they reached Kharkov by truck first and from there they traveled to Tashkent by train.
From Tashkent my mother, my brother and I went 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. We were in bad need of money and I worked as a librarian at school. Since I studied and worked I didn't have time to socialize and I only had few friends. There were many Jews that had evacuated from Poland. Polish Jews observed Jewish traditions. A friend of mine, a Polish Jew, invited me to his wedding. I remember very well that there was a chuppah on this wedding. I finished school in Burnoye.
In early 1944 we moved to Simferopol to be nearer Odessa. From Simferopol I sent my documents to Odessa Medical College and since I had all excellent marks in my school certificate they admitted me without exams. In September 1944 I went to live in Odessa. I lived in our prewar apartment. My mother and brother also moved to Odessa in early 1945. My brother went to the 6th grade in Odessa. He finished school in 1950. In those years Yuri and I had wonderfully warm and friendly relationships. In 1949 I finished my college and got an assignment to Krasnodon Voroshilovgrad region where I worked as a registrar in hospital for 205 patients. Besides, I worked as a part-time therapist in a polyclinic.
My brother Yuri finished Communications College in 1955 and got a job assignment to 'Giprisviaz'' Institute in Kiev. He worked as an engineer. He married Clara Pekker, who was Jewish. Clara finished a college and worked at a design institute. They have three daughters. Their older daughter Olga was born in 1964. She finished a pedagogical college. She is married and has two sons. She lives in Kiev. His middle daughter Svetlana was born in 1971. She finished a college of public economy. Yulia, the youngest, born in 1980, finished the Faculty of management in a construction college. Yulia is a member of the Jewish organization for young people 'Ghilel' in Kiev. She performs in the Jewish student's theater. 2 years ago Yulia went on a trip to Israel under a students exchange program. Yuri, his wife and two younger daughters live in a small two-bedroom apartment in Rusanovskaya Naberezhnaya in Kiev. He is a pensioner.