Sarra Shylman’s son Mikhail Shyfris with his wife Valia Tikhonova and daughter Evgenia Shyfris

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My son Mikhail Shyfris with his wife Valia Tikhonova and daughter Evgenia Shyfris. This photo was made for us to see our granddaughter. Signed on the backside: 'Zhenechka 2 months and 20 days. Riga, 1976.

Mikhail studied successfully at the college. He met his future wife Valia Tikhonova there and they became friends. He helped Valia with preparation of her diploma and my husband and I went there to help them. Later they got married. Valia is Russian. Her mother lives somewhere in Russia. I saw that they loved one another and accepted it that Valia wasn't a Jew. Since Mikhail finished the college with all excellent marks he had the right to choose his job assignment. He and Valia wanted to go to Siberia, but then they got an offer to go to Riga. [Latvia] We were so happy. They went to Riga and became superintendents at a furniture factory.

On 9 June 1976 their daughter Evgenia was born. She was rowing a smart and beautiful girl. They often visited us in summer and my husband and I doted on her.

Our son Mikhail was promoted at work. He was superintendent, then assistant chief of shop, then chief of shop and then he became chief engineer at the factory. Then there was a vacancy f chief engineer at a plant and he went to work there. When he came to work in the morning he went to talk with workers. Workers of the plant elected his director of this plant. He was a terrific director!

Mikhail died before he turned 40. He went on business trip with his employees. They took a drive in a car. He didn't have to go on this trip, but they convinced him telling him that he was the best to establish contacts. A truck rode over their car on a turn. He was sitting on the driver's right. He was the only one who died... This happened in 1991. When my husband and I came to his funeral his workers came to me and said kissing my hand: 'What a person you raised!' He always helped people and was a born director.

Interview details

Interviewee: Sarra Shylman
Inna Zlotnik
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Kiev, Ukraine


Mikhail Shyfris
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after WW II:
Working in natural and technical sciences

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