Siima Shkop at the old Jewish cemetery in Tallinn

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This is me at the old Jewish cemetery in Tallinn by the grave of my maternal grandfather, Shloime Meer Rosenko. The picture was taken in Tallinn in 1982.

Anyway, Grandpa identified himself as a Jew. He lived like a true Jew: he was religious, observed traditions, went to synagogue twice a week. During the holiday period, he went to the synagogue almost every day. Kashrut was observed in my family since childhood.

Grandpa Shloime-Meer was also a tailor, specialized in dress coats, which required strong skills. Tail coats were in demand in Tartu because it was a university town and that type of dress was needed for all kinds of events and costume parties, arranged by the student societies. There were rich students, who ordered tail coats and poorer students could not afford that, but still needed them from time to time, so Grandpa made tail coats for rental. I remember there were two large wardrobes with tail coats of different sizes.

Since Tartu was a students' town there were a lot of Estonian and Jewish students' corporations, thus there were a lot of events and people hired tail coats from Grandfather. Besides, he was an honorable guest at all celebrations. Very often Grandpa came home drunk. He was a very interesting man. He was not of a tall height, had a nice voice and great sense of humor. All people loved him.

Grandpa died two weeks before the war. He was buried in Tallinn Jewish cemetery according to the Jewish rite. At that time we were mourning over him. Only later we understood how happy he was to die at home, among people who loved him, having been buried decently, not in a common grave in evacuation.

Interview details

Interviewee: Siima Shkop
Ella Levitskaya
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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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