Photo taken in:LeningradYear when photo was taken:1940Country name at time of photo:Soviet UnionCountry name today:Russia
These are my elder sisters, Tsilya at the left and Mira on the right. Tsilya was 25 years old here, Mira was 26. Both sisters were already married, but had no children yet. I was a student at that time. Father got married for the first time in 1898, and they had four kids with his first wife. But she died of cancer. In the adult age we maintained relations with father's children from his first marriage. As we got older we moved to different places. I only remember their names now: Efim, Tatiana, Rose and Blyuma. I don't know of any details of father's first marriage. He got married for the second time in 1911. His second wife was my mother. She gave birth to 5 kids and I was the youngest: Perla [1912-1927], Mira [1914-1985], Tsilya [1916-1970] and Naum [1919-1927].
How my parents got acquainted and married, I do not know. Most likely, they had a Jewish wedding ceremony, since they both were from religious families and observed all traditions. They named their two daughters in honor of mother's living sisters, although it was not in the Jewish tradition: Tsilya and Perla. I do not know why it was so. Naum and Perla died in Novozybkov in young age. Naum died at 8 years old from meningitis, an illness of the brain, and Perla at 15, of pneumonia.
They couldn't treat children well enough then, penicillin and other antibiotics were invented only during the war. And of course, the children suffered a lot. After that I was left with two sisters - Mira and Tsilya, who I loved very much, and who treated me very well. We lived very amicably, loved and cared for each other, especially they for me, as I was the youngest. Even after the war my sisters still took care about me, their younger brother. We adored each other, we had a very good family. The native language of all my sisters and brothers was Russian, but with parents we talked basically in Yiddish. At the age of six I fell in love with one girl and often insisted that my sisters took me to her place. Sometimes they refused and I misbehaved.