Yelizaveta Zatkovetskaya with her son Yuriy Aral

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I, Yelizaveta Zatkovetskaya, holding my younger son Yuriy. This photo was made in Kalinindorf in a field in 1959.

In January 1945 the Supreme Soviet issued an order about opening children's homes for all homeless children. In Kalinindorf a children's home was opened in the building of the Jewish school built before the war. The executive committee authorized me to take the responsibility for restoration of the building and opening of the children's home. We gathered bricks to make a stove and washed and cleaned the walls and windows, bought beds, desks, blankets and bed sheets. The villagers also donated whatever they could. On 16 March 1945 I conducted the opening ceremony. At first I was acting director of this home till they appointed a nice man for this position. He returned from the front where he had lost his arms. I became a teacher. I assisted director with everything. I retired from the children's home in 1972. We celebrated 9 May 1945 - Victory Day, in the children's home. God, it was happiness!

Some time later men began to return from the front. My first husband Perets perished on the front in 1941. In early 1946 Abram Aral, our neighbor, returned. We were friends with his family before the war. Abram had a wife and two children: Sonia, 6 years old and a baby son. When the war began, Abram was recruited to the army. When his family finally decided to move, it was too late. There were Germans all around. They were shot by fascists in 1941. Abram's sister from Zaporozhie, whose husband perished at the front, came to live with him. Abram and his sister often came by to see us and Tsylia visited them. We were sad about our deceased dear ones often talking about them. Some time later Abram and I felt that there was more to our relationship than just the memories: our late and much suffered for love came to us. I moved in with Abram and we got married in 1947.

We got along very well. My husband was good to Mikhail and my son began to call him 'papa'. In 1948 our son was born. I named him Alexandr after Avrum's brother Shmidyk. I worked in the children's home and my husband worked as a storekeeper in the military registry office. In 1956 our second son was born. I named him Yuriy after my father (Yefim is 'Yuhym' in Ukrainian, and I found the name with the same first letter).

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Interviewee: Yelizaveta Zatkovetskaya
Zhanna Litinskaya
Kherson, Ukraine


Yelizaveta Zatkovetskaya
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