Shifra Kravets with her adopted son Lev Kravets and her brother Efim Schneider

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  • Photo taken in:
    Moscow
    Year when photo was taken:
    1935
    Country name at time of photo:
    USSR
    Country name today:
    Russia

From left to right: my mother Shifra Kravets, my stepbrother Lev Kravets, mother's elder brother Efim Schneider.

Efim came to Kharkov for a visit, so we had this picture taken on that occasion. The picture was taken in Moscow in 1925.

My mother's eldest brother Efim was an apprentice to a smith. Then he worked in his teacher's smithy. He got married. He had only one son, Grigoriy.

My mother was a true belle. She told me about her love for a neighbor's son. They couldn't get married because both families were poor.

When my father wooed my mother, Grandfather was happy to give his consent to their marriage. Father was rich, but he was much older than Mother.

They got married in 1921. Father was 30, and Mother was 17. Of course, they had a true Jewish wedding.

My father’s first wife's name was Liba. It was a prearranged marriage. She didn't love Father, because she was in love with the son of the owner of the local sugar mill.

In 1915 their only son Lev was born. His Jewish name was Leib. Liba was a housewife. Father was taking trips constantly. Once when he came back home, he didn't find his wife there. She had left the little son and gone to her lover. To avoid a scandal Liba and her beloved left Uman.

First Lev was raised by the grandparents, and when my father married my mother she also became the mother of my stepbrother. Lev lived in our family and Mother treated him like her own child. When Lev was grown-up, about 20 years old, my parents revealed the truth to him: that my mother wasn't his real mother. I was present when that conversation was taking place.

Lev took time to think things over and then said that he hadn't known another mother and didn't care to know about her. Before the very outbreak of war, in 1941, his real mother came to Uman.

She found my dad and asked him to bring Lev to her. Father did what she asked, but their meeting was of short duration. Lev wasn't willing to talk to her. At the beginning of the war Liba died during a bombing.

Interview details

Interviewee: Naum Kravets
Interviewer:
Ella Levitskaya
Month of interview:
January
Year of interview:
2005
Moscow, Russia

KEY PERSON

Shifra Kravets
Jewish name:
Shifra
Year of birth:
1904
Decade of birth:
1900
City of birth:
Uman
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Year of death:
1980
City of death:
Moscow
Country of death:
Russia
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife
after WW II:
Accountant
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Schneider
    Year of changing: 
    1921
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

Other Person

Lev Kravets
Jewish name:
Leib
Year of birth:
1915
Decade of birth:
1910
City of birth:
Uman
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Year of death:
1941
Country of death:
Russia
Died where:
Russia
Occupation
before WW II:
Party activist

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