Photo taken in:JonavaCountry name at time of photo:RussiaCountry name today:Lithuania
his is a steamboat of the connection Jonava - Kaunas along the river Neris. To the right sitting is my mother Taube. Next to her is her sister Masha Yudelevich, my father Abram Yudelevich and some passers-by. The picture was made in the 1900s when my parents were adolescents.
My grandparents Sarah and Avel Pagirskiys had ten children. All of them got an excellent for those times education in lyceum. They were literate and cultured people. When children grew up, they were not religious, like their parents merely sticking to the traditions and marking Jewish holidays. The eldest was Masha, born in 1887. Masha married a Jew Reuben Leib Granevich. I do not know what he did for a living, but he was rather well-off. Reuben Leib died several years before the outbreak of Great Patriotic War. Masha, being single by that time, remained in the occupation. She had lived in Kaunas ghetto and in 1944 she was sent to Nazi concentration camp Stutthof along with the group of Jewish women. My aunt died there. Masha had three daughters.
My mother Tauber Pagirskaya was born in 1898. Mother got a good education at Russian Commercial Lyceum. Upon graduation mother lived with her parents before getting married. She did not work. I do not know exactly where my parents met. I think they knew each other when they were young. I have the picture of my young parents and mother's siblings, taken at the beginning of the 20th century by the boat, traveling to Jonava across river Neris. My parents got married in 1923. Parents had never told anything about their wedding. I think it was carried out in accordance with Jewish traditions. At any rate before war at home there was parents' wedding certificate issued by the rabbi.
My father was born in Jonava in 1894. He has been an atheist since early childhood, and that strongly displeased grandpa, who was deeply religious. I do not know if father went to cheder. He went to Russian lyceum in the town of Suwalki [Poland, 10 km away from the border of Lithuania and Poland and 170 km from Vilnius]. Upon graduation he decided to enter university. He dreamt to become a lawyer. Grandpa Lazar was very displeased with father's decision. He hoped that his son would follow in his footsteps, but my young father was adamant. That is why grandfather practically cut him off a shilling. Father went to Russia to enter the institute. I do not know how he happened to be in Siberia. He entered Tomsk university [about 3000 km from Moscow]. Father studied there for couple of years and got transferred to Yekaterinburg [Russia, 1500 km from Moscow], where he graduated juridical department. Father came back to the motherland in 1918 right after Lithuania became independent [Lithuanian independence].