Tsylia Aguf's mother Esphir Pekar

Tsylia Aguf's mother Esphir Pekar
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My mother Esphir Pekar, nee Polischuk, at the beginning of 1945 photographed on her 45th birthday in Kuibyshev. She sent this photo to me in Kiev. My mother was born in Radomyshl in 1900. She came from a wealthy family and she got an opportunity to finish Russian grammar school in Kiev. She told me that she was a pretty girl. My mother didn't continue her education. In 1920 she met one of her father's employees. They liked each other, but they came from different social layers. He was a clerk, and she was the daughter of a business owner. That stood in the way of their marriage. They were meeting secretly. When my grandfather understood that my father had serious intentions he gave his consent to their marriage. My parents got married in Teterev in 1920. They had a rich traditional Jewish wedding with a chuppah and klezmer musicians. After the wedding the young couple moved to Kiev where my mother's older sisters lived and worked. They rented an apartment in the center of the city. My father got a job as an accountant in an office, and my mother became a housewife. My mother and sisters and my mother's parents were in evacuation in Kuibyshev during the Great Patriotic War. I have no information about their life there because I had left without even saying goodbye to them. Throughout the war we didn't hear from them and didn't know whether they were alive. Only after I returned to Kiev in 1945, we received a letter from my mother. It arrived at the hostel where I had lived before the war. My acquaintances, whom I met by chance, gave it to me. The letter said that they were alive, that everything was all right with them but that they weren't going to return to Kiev. My mother, my sisters and my grandparents stayed in Kuibyshev after the war. My mother died in Kuibyshev in 1971. She was a receptionist at the local polyclinic.

Interview details

Interviewee: Tsylia Aguf
Elena Zaslavskaya
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Kiev, Ukraine


Esphir Pekar
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after WW II
before WW II:
Manual laborer
after WW II:
Lower-level public employee
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