Photo taken in:Mogilyov-PodolskiyYear when photo was taken:1951Country name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Ukraine
My mother Motl Freisond and my sisters Lisa and Lubov. This photo was taken in Mogilyov-Podolskiy in 1951.
My sister Lubov, Liebe, was born in 1907. She finished the Jewish primary school in Yaryshev and went to the 7-year Ukrainian school. My sister Lubov went to work as a secretary/typist at the equipment yard.
My older sister Lisa, Jewish Leya, was born in 1909. She finished the Jewish primary school in Yaryshev and went to the 7-year Ukrainian school. Lisa fell ill with scarlet fever after the 7th form and grew deaf. She didn’t work being an invalid. Later Lisa learned to saw. My mother had a sewing machine and Lisa sewed plain clothes for women. The sister appeared capable, her clients sometimes paid her money and sometimes paid her with products.
In 1945, after return from the evacuation we stayed in Mogilov-Podolski. There were three of us in the apartment: my mother, my sister Lisa and I. I was employed as a primary school teacher by a new Ukrainian general education school in the very center of the town where I worked for almost 40 years.
In 1946 Lubov married Aron Geizel from Mogilov-Podolski, a widower, and moved in with her husband. His wife died after the war and he had two teens: daughter Yevgeniy and son Boris. They entered the Vinnitsa Polytechnic College after finishing school and left their home. My sister's adoptive children treated her like one of their family and I was happy for my sister.
I didn't have a private life. I was the only breadwinner and provider for my mother and sister Lisa, who could not work due to her deafness. They had so-called social pensions since they hadn't worked that were miserable. I knew they needed me and I realized that I would hardly find anybody, who would agree to support his wife and two old and ill women in addition. My school and pupils became my life. Teachers got low salaries in the former USSR, and I didn't have any additional earnings. However, we were used to living a modest life and it didn't cause any disturbances to me. Besides, many people lived like this after the war.
When my mother was with us we celebrated all Jewish holidays. Of course, we did it in secret - if someone got to know about it, I wouldn't have worked one day as a teacher. On Sabbath my mother lit candles and prayed and we had a festive dinner, but for me it was a tribute of respect of my mother and not a need. I had to go to work on Saturday. My mother and sister tried to do no work on Saturday, but I didn't feel like following this rule. Before Pesach my mother baked matzah in the gas oven and cooked gefilte fish and chicken broth. She watched it that we didn't have any bread at home on Pesach. At home and at school we celebrated Soviet holidays: 1 May, Victory Day, 7 November, Soviet army Day, 8 March - international women's day and New Year. My mother died in 1968. We buried her in the Jewish cemetery according to the Jewish traditions, as she had requested. My sister or I didn't celebrate any Jewish holidays after she died.