Sally Uzvalova’s son Boris Uzvalov

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  • Photo taken in:
    Chernovtsy
    Year when photo was taken:
    1976
    Country name at time of photo:
    USSR
    Country name today:
    Ukraine

My son Boris Uzvalov. The photo was taken in 1976 in  Chernovtsy on the street.

I had a son born on 6 June 1951. We named him Boris after my father. We lived from hand to mouth. I didn't have diapers and wrapped my son in newspapers. 

I tried to raise my son a Jew. In 1954 during census my 3-year-old son asked me to write his nationality as Russian. When I asked him why he wanted to do so he said "Because Russians are good and Jews are not. That's what children say in the yard". I was horrified to hear this, but I began to explain to him that Jews were smart, talented and intelligent people. I read to him books by Jewish authors and told him about actors, musicians and scientists. He gradually came to knowing the history of Jewish people. He began to study Hebrew and Yiddish. It was only possible to do this in secret at that time to avoid accusations in Zionism and Jewish chauvinism. Such accusation might result in arrest and exile. My son was very good at singing. After my mother-in-law died we stopped celebrating Jewish holidays. We worked on Saturdays and Jewish holidays were also working days. My husband was against religion. However, our son was inspired by the Jewish way of life and I didn't interfere with him. 

My son finished school and served in the army in Kamenets-Podolskiy. After his service in the army our son entered electro technical college there. Upon graduation he returned to Chernovtsy.

Boris married a Jewish girl. I was very happy for him and couldn't wait to become a grandmother. But this marriage cost my son a life. He was told that his wife was unfaithful to him. My son found out that it was true. He was so shocked that he had a stroke. My son was paralyzed for few years. I was taking care of him trying to sooth his suffering. He died on 4 April 1988 when he was 36 years old. The Jewish cemetery was closed and we buried him at the cemetery of Chernovtsy and installed a gravestone on his grave.  

Interview details

Interviewee: Sally Uzvalova
Interviewer:
Ella Levitskaya
Month of interview:
November
Year of interview:
2002
Chernovtsy, Ukraine

KEY PERSON

Boris Uzvalov
Jewish name:
Borukh
Year of birth:
1951
City of birth:
Chernovtsy
Country name at time of birth:
USSR
Year of death:
1988
City of death:
Chernovtsy
Country of death:
USSR
Died where:
Chernovtsy
Occupation
after WW II:
Manual laborer

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