Sally Uzvalova

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I, Sally Uzvalova, photographed at my home in Chernovtsy in 2000, to send the photo to a friend of mine living in the US. 

In 1970s Jews began to move to Israel.  I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to change my life. My mother and son also were for leaving the USSR. But we faced resistance of my husband. We tried to convince him to change his mind, but it was in vain. Perhaps, men in our family are doomed to make wrong decisions that destroy them and their families. 

In 1970s I went to work at the Regional Fuel Department dealing with gas and coal. I was Deputy Chief accountant. I retired from there 20 years later. I didn't face any anti-Semitism at work. I was an only Jewish employee. I was sociable and friendly. However, I faced anti-Semitism on a state level when I came to the Human Resources Department to ask them to appoint me to the vacant position of Chief accountant whose duties I actually performed. Human resources manager told me firmly that firstly, I was not a member of the party and secondly, I was a Jew.  Now everything is different on the outside, but I believe there is an anti-Semite in every non-Jew. Only fools and drunken people express it while smart people try to hide it.

After our son died in 1988 I tried to talk my husband into moving to Israel. One of her stepbrothers on his mother's side and his five children lived in Israel.  He found my husband and sent us an invitation. I begged my husband to agree telling him that our son had died and it would be good to reunite with our relatives. And again my husband refused, because he was afraid to leave familiar places.   

In 1990 my mother got very ill. She was paralyzed and we had to move her to our home. She lived 3 years and died in November 1993. We buried her near my son's grave. Then my husband got ill. He was suffering for a long time. He died on 2 September 1996. No member of my family was buried according to the Jewish tradition.  

I am alone of my big family. The only thing I have is a place at the cemetery and I hope to be buried between my husband and my son.   

Many things have changed in Ukraine in the recent ten years. I wish my close ones had lived to see restoration of the Jewish life. Hesed helps me with food and medications. I often attend lectures and meetings in Hesed.  It gives me strength to go on. But Hesed cannot replace my family for me. I am not feeling well and I am losing sight. I wish there was someone to tend to me, but I am alone. I only pray to God to take me promptly when my time comes. 



Interview details

Interviewee: Sally Uzvalova
Ella Levitskaya
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Chernovtsy, Ukraine


Sally Uzvalova
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