Siima Shkop and her friends of Maccabi rhythmic gymnastic group

Siima Shkop and her friends of Maccabi rhythmic gymnastic group
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This is a performance of rhythmic gymnastic at the Jewish youth organization Maccabi in the Tallinn theater ?Estonia?. I am in the first row to the right. The picture was taken in 1935. I entered the Tallinn Jewish lyceum in 1933. At first, it was hard for me to study at the lyceum as the teaching was in Ivrit, but not the old Ivrit that I was taught at school, but the modern Ivrit, spoken in Israel. I understood almost everything, but could not speak myself. It was not hard during the classes. My classmates spoke Ivrit during the breaks. Then I started taking private lessons in Ivrit. My teacher was Michelson. I worked very hard and studied it for less than a year. I liked lyceum a lot, both my peers and teachers. We had a very good class; unfortunately, most of my classmates are dead now. There were quite a few students from the school in Tartu in the Tallinn lyceum. The school in Tartu was a six-year one, so many students decided to continue their education in Tallinn. Children from poor and rich families studied together and it did not affect the relationship. We did not choose friends by their parents' income. We had our own company consisting of boys and girls. We went to dancing classes. In general it was our common interest. We wanted to learn how to dance beautifully. All lyceum students were members of Jewish organizations. I was a member of the children's Jewish organizations. In Tartu I was a member of Hashomer Hatzair. This organization was represented in Tallinn as well. A lot of my classmates were members of Hashomer. We took part in Estonian scout contests. In summer we went to Hashomer Hatzair scout camps. When we moved to Tallinn I entered the Jewish youth organization Maccabi. There were good gyms in that organization. I loved gymnastics. I started attending rhythmic gymnastics there. I had rhythmic gymnastics classes in Tartu, but they did not have such good facilities as in Tallinn. Our trainings took place in the university gym.

Interview details

Interviewee: Siima Shkop
Ella Levitskaya
Month of interview:
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Tallinn, Estonia


Siima Shkop
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before WW II:
Apprentice of hairdresser, student
after WW II:

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