Tsyliya Spivak’s aunts Sarrah Aronova and Zelda Lifshitz

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  • Photo taken in:
    Chernigov
    Year when photo was taken:
    1922
    Country name at time of photo:
    USSR
    Country name today:
    Ukraine

In this photo are my mother's sisters: Sarrah is from the right and Zelda is from the left. This photo was taken in Chernigov in 1932 'To my dear sister, brother and nephews from your sisters and aunts Sarrah and Zelda'.

My mother came from a big Jewish family living in Sednevo town in Chernigov province, 200 km from Kiev. I've never been to Sednevo, but my mother told me that it was like any other small Jewish town. There was a synagogue in the town. Jews commonly dealt in crafts and trade. My mother's father Borukh Kaplan, my grandfather, was a tradesman. My grandmother Tsyvah, who was 12 years younger than my grandfather, was a housewife and looked after the children. Sometimes she helped my grandfather in the store in the house where the family lived. They didn't have any other employees working for them in the store. They were selling haberdashery and household goods in their little store and Ukrainian customers of my grandfather from surrounding villages often came by my grandfather's store to buy what they needed. My grandfather got along well with Ukrainians.In 1919 his big family moved to Chernigov [regional center in the north of Ukraine, 220 km from Kiev] after selling their remaining belongings. In Chernigov my grandfather bought a small two-bedroom apartment in a private house where they lived until before the Great Patriotic War. My grandmother and grandfather were very religious people. They ate kosher food and celebrated Sabbath. The whole family got together on big religious Jewish holidays. There were 12 children born to the family, but before the Great Patriotic War there were seven of them left. The rest of the children died in infancy.

My mother's sister Sarrah was born around 1910. Sarrah was such a beauty that people stared at her in the streets. She finished an accounting course and worked as an assistant accountant. Sarrah married a Party official. His name was Ziama Aronov. Before the Great Patriotic War he was second secretary of the regional Communist Party committee. Sarrah and Ziama had a son named Alik. When the Great Patriotic War began Aronov was ordered to stay in Chernigov to organize a partisan unit. Sarrah and Alik evacuated to Orsk with the rest of the family. Many men were seeking Sarrah's attention. Lev Troyanskiy, a man from Odessa, was very much in love with her, but Sarrah was faithful to her husband. Only after she returned to Chernigov and got to know for certain that Aronov had perished she agreed to marry Troyanskiy. Lev took her to Odessa. In Odessa Sarrah's daughter Larisa was born. Alik served in the Navy and then finished a college. Larisa also got a higher education. Lev Troyanskiy died in the early 1990s and then his family moved to Germany. Alik and Larisa live in Munich. Sarrah died in 1998 in Munich.

My mother's sister Zelda was was born around 1915. Zelda didn't have a good education, but she was a Komsomol member, trade union activist and held rather high public posts. Before the war Zelda met with Yakov Lifshitz, a nice Jewish guy. They loved each other very much, but they argued about some little thing and separated. Zelda married another Jewish guy to spite Yakov. His name was Yakov Shulman. They had a son named Roman. Zelda's husband Yakov perished at the front. After finishing his college Yakov Lifshitz was sent to work at a military plant in Komsomolsk-on-the-Amur [over 7000 km from Kiev] in the Far East. After the war he found Zelda and convinced her to marry him. Yakov took Zelda and Roman to Komsomolsk-on-the-Amur. Besides Roman Zelda and Yakov raised Ziama's daughter Fania and then my mother younger sister's daughter Irina. After finishing school Roman entered Odessa Polytechnic College and after finishing it he received a job assignment to Kishinev. Aunt Zelda and her husband followed him there. Zelda died in 1982. Yakov didn't remarry for a long time, but then he got married and moved to Israel. Roman and his family also live there.

Interview details

Interviewee: Tsyliya Spivak
Interviewer:
Zhanna Litinskaya
Month of interview:
September
Year of interview:
2003
Kherson, Ukraine

KEY PERSON

Zelda Lifshitz
Jewish name:
Zelda
Year of birth:
1915
City of birth:
Sednevo town, Chernigov province
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Year of death:
1982
City of death:
Chernigov
Country of death:
USSR
Occupation
before WW II:
Office clerk
after WW II:
Office clerk

Other Person

Sarrah Aronova
Year of birth:
1910
City of birth:
Sednevo town, Chernigov province
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Year of death:
1988
City of death:
Munich
Country of death:
Germany
Occupation
before WW II:
Accountant/Bookkepeer
after WW II:
Accountant/Bookkeeper
  • Previous family name: 
    Kaplan
    Year of changing: 
    1935
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

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