Photo taken in:KishinevYear when photo was taken:1940Country name at time of photo:RomaniaCountry name today:MoldovaName of the photographer / studio:Bella Studio
This is my father Solomon Magder. This photo was taken in Kishinev (Bella Studio) in 1940, shortly before my father was recruited to the army. He left this photo with us as remembrance, and my mother kept it till she died and then I kept it. My father was a lawyer and worked a lot. He didn't go to the synagogue and was an atheist, but he had ties with the progressive Jewish circles and defended Jews in court. Leaders of Jewish Zionist organizations often visited him at home and they had discussions in his room; even a rabbi visited my father once to consult him. My father wrote articles mainly on the eternal Jewish issue. He was involved in civil, criminal and political cases. However, my father never discussed his work with me. I don't even know what kind of organizations they were; my father didn't tell me about them. Only much later did I learn about his support of Jewish organizations from his comrades and the media. I found out that my father was one of the founders of the Maccabi local organization for young people in Kishinev. He also spent time with members of this organization. My father was a progressive attorney, supporting and defending those who struggled with the regime for a bright future. He didn't belong to any political party, but his views were close to the socialist ideology. He also wrote articles about the Jewish history. I learned this, when I studied the history of my family in the 1990s. My father was recruited to the Romanian army in 1940 and was away from home. The Soviet Army arrived in Bessarabia on 28th June. About a month after Bessarabia was annexed to the USSR, a man from Romania found me to tell me the tragic story of my father. He was released from the army like all other Jews. My father was in Romania, had no contact with us, and facing the crash of his views - democracy and respect of people - and understanding that he couldn't stand to live under a fascist regime, he committed suicide. This was a hard period for me. I decided to keep it a secret from Mama and she kept hoping to see him again and didn't give up this hope and love for my father till the end of her life.