Rosa Ivenizkaya

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This is a photo of my mother’s sister Rosa Ivenizkaya. This photo was taken in the 1940s and I believe that it was taken in Leningrad, because she lived in this city.

My mother was the oldest among her siblings, and lived longer than the others; she died when she was ninety years old. Mother’s sisters Panna was born in 1903 and Rosa in 1906. There were three sisters and four brothers in total - one more died in childhood - and Grandmother gave birth every three years.

While my grandparents were still alive, Aunts Rosa and Panna came for vacations each summer. We visited them too: Aunt Rosa in Leningrad and Aunt Panna in Moscow. We went to Leningrad, because my father was sick, and my parents had to go to a doctor. However, they couldn't leave their children at home, in Bologoye, and took us with them.

In Leningrad we went to the Zoological Museum, I remember that very well. But my relatives didn't take me to the Hermitage or Russian Museum. We lived at Aunt Rosa's. And the brightest impression was when I went together with Uncle Yakov, the sportsman, to the so-called 'American mountains' [rollercoaster]. That was a real adventure park! I was frightened to death and took his belt and didn't let him go away. And that was a super event!

I still remember how I was feeling. We only went to Moscow for a couple of days, because Panna and her husband Malkin and their daughter Rebecca - she was born in 1926 - had a very small room in a communal apartment. We went to the Lenin mausoleum, and that is the only thing I can recall. Rebecca and Ghitah, Rosa's daughter, born in 1931, and Solomon' son came to see us too.

Rosa came every summer. We walked together, went to sunbathe, to swim. Panna came more seldom. I heard rumors that she had some admirer in Bologoye, but I don't know exactly. We spent time together, talking and relaxing; we didn't do anything special, ordinary summer vacations.

Aunt Rosa together with her daughter was taken from the Leningrad blockade, they survived during the first blockade winter, and then they lived in some village, but I don't know exactly where it was. Fortunately, they both survived, but Rosa's husband was killed at the front during the Great Patriotic War.

After the War she returned to Leningrad together with her daughter Eugenia, a friend of mine. They lived in a shared apartment in the center of the city, and Aunt Rosa worked in a kindergarten. Her daughter became a doctor, now she lives in Petersburg, she is retired.

Aunt Rosa died in 1980 and she was buried at a Jewish cemetery, even though she never was religious, never kept kosher or observed Sabbath.

Interview details

Interviewee: Rebecca Levina
Nika Parhomovskaya
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St. Petersburg, Russia


Rosa Ivenizkaya
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after WW II
before WW II:
Kindergarten teacher
after WW II:
Kindergarten teacher
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