Samuel Eirus, his mother and father

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    A studio photographer

This photograph shows me and my parents in 1936.

Possibly it was taken to send my Mom’s mother, who lived in Estonia. Unfortunately during the war her neighbors betrayed by her neighbors.

When Germans occupied those territories, they started to destroy communists and Jews. Grandmother did not look like a Jewess (she was very old and gray-haired), but someone informed fascists that she was Jewish. They came, took her away and executed by shooting.

My father was born in Estonian city Vyru in 1905. I already told you that my paternal grandfather was a professional revolutionary, and he managed to educate all his sons.

My father spoke Russian, Estonian (I do not take these 2 languages into consideration), German and French. By the way I do not know if he knew Yiddish or Hebrew.

Besides, he finished a musical school and played in the Estonian National Orchestra. I keep a photo showing him together with the orchestra musicians. Pay attention that musical education was not free at that time.

My father was a real professional: he was able to perform serious musical compositions. I remember my Mom told that he wrote notes himself. Some musical scores he arranged for his balalaika [a national Russian musical instrument]. I remember him frequently writing notes at home…

I know nothing about the way my father got acquainted with my Mom: I was not interested and Mom told me about my father not much.

My mother was born in Opochka (a town near Pskov) in 1901. Her parents were poor. She finished only 4 classes, therefore it was possible to call her illiterate. But she was very beautiful!

Mom worked as a hairdresser. In the beginning she was a master; later she was appointed a manager of her hairdressing saloon because of her diligence and good service.

My Mom's circle of acquaintance was rather wide because of her work: several theaters were situated near her hairdressing saloon. One of them was the Bolshoy Drama Theater named after Tovstonogov [it was founded in 1919 and is one of the most popular theaters of the city].

Another one was the Drama Theater named after Pushkin [one of the oldest professional theaters of Russia was founded in 1756]. There was also the Comedy Theater [founded in 1935] situated in Nevsky prospect.

Therefore a lot of her customers were actors. Mom knew many actors personally. It was very interesting.

I know nothing about the way my mother and her relatives got to Estonia. I was born in Tartu where my father and mother lived at that time.

I think that they lived there for a rather long period of time: my mother's husband and her brother Mulya, for example, played together in the orchestra - I guess it means that the family settled down for good in Tartu.

My paternal grandfather and grandmother were professional revolutionaries. Probably my grandparents were members of a political party (I do not know exactly what party).

Their activity resulted in the attempt of making revolution, but it failed. My grandparents were arrested, tried and sentenced to death. They were kept in the death ward.

Grandfather was executed by shooting, but Estonian authorities had no time to do it with my grandmother and her sister: our government exchanged them for some Estonian political figures arrested in Russia.

Probably my grandmother and her sister were granted a political asylum in Russia and made Petrograd their home in the beginning of the XX century.

I do not remember the date of their arrival, but in 1933 they invited my father (son of Sara Meirovna), my mother, me and probably someone from our family to come to Leningrad from Estonia.

Interview details

Interviewee: Samuel Eirus
Anna Shubaeva
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St. Petersburg, Russia


Samuel Eirus
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Other Person

Leye Eirus
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after WW II
before WW II:
A hairdresser
after WW II:
A hairdresser
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