Rosa Linger

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This is one of the few postwar pictures. It was taken before I was demobilized from the army in 1947, where I am a lieutenant. I was conferred the rank of senior lieutenant before demobilization in 1948. The picture was made in Riga.

After the war I worked in military circle. I wanted to get demobilized from the army right after the victory day, when combatant army personnel was demobilized. Translators and cryptographers had not been demobilized yet. We were supposed to have a lot or work with the documents of German archives and headquarters. I submitted an application for demobilization, but I was refused. But life was much easier than that during the war - I had standard working day, no working at night. I also had a lot of work with the documents, translations. There was a period of time we had much work with the captives, who were in Riga. It was a hard time of hunger.

In 1948, when I had less work to do, I broached the subject on my demobilization again. I was scared that they would assign me to a new place. I was not willing to part with my family. I was talked into staying. I was told that I would be bereft of the benefits after demobilization. Finally, I my report had been signed. I did not work for couple of years after demobilization. I raised son, took care of house and read a lot. I lacked all that during name Ruvin after his father. Mother and I thought of putting that name in the birth certificate, but husband convinced us that it would be very hard for our son to live in Soviet Union with a truly Jewish name. Russian name Roman was put in his birth certificate.

I did not deny my Jewry even in soviet times. I have been a member of the Jewish community of Riga since 1946. It was very hard to observe Jewish traditions in postwar times. There was a deficit of standard products in the store, nothing to speak of kosher ones. The only thing I could do was not to mix meat and milk and not to buy pork. I lit candles in the house only on holidays, because it was even problematic to buy candles. On holidays my husband and I always went to the synagogue no matter that Naum was a party member. We tried to make contributions to the synagogue the way we could. Husband was never against it as he was raised in a religious Jewish family. He was a generous man in his nature, so he donated money without regret. Though, he could not do it by himself. He might have been fired for that. He gave the donation money to mother and she brought it to the synagogue. There was Jewish cultural life in postwar Latvia. Jewish singers came from Lithuania and Russia. We had never missed the concerts and the performance. Husband was the amateur theater-goer and I gladly went there with him. We were young, and feeling happy about everything.

When sons grew up, I decided to regain work. I worked in the system of consumer services, which was developing at that time. I started our from the clerk in the dry cleaners. I was a bona-fide employee, having good organizational skills. When the factory of consumer services span out its activity, director gave me a task to organize all kinds of services: repair and remodeling of clothes, watch mending, laundry etc. I set up a lot of directions and became deputy director of the factory. I did well in anything I undertook. I had a task job. I coped with all tasks at work. My assistant and I did the work of the whole team.

Interview details

Interviewee: Rosa Linger
Ella Levitskaya
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Riga, Latvia


Rosa Linger
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before WW II:
Worked as a clerk in the firm
after WW II:
Was a deputy director of the factory of consumer services
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