Natalia Zilberman’s mother Anna Milimevker, father Duvid Milimevker, grandmother Gitl Gologorskaya, uncle Joseph's wife Sonia Gologorskaya

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    Russia, pre 1917
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Standing: on the left - my mother Anna Milimevker, on the right - my father Duvid Milimevker, sitting: left - my mother's mother Gitl Gologorskaya, right - Sonia Gologorskaya (Joseph's wife). Photo made at my grandmother's 60th birthday in Nemirov in 1904.

In 1903 my father met my mother. The two of them were waiting for a train at the station. They chatted a little and then exchanged addresses. They wrote letters to one another and in 1904 ãthey got married. My parents didn't tell me any details, but I believe they had a traditional Jewish wedding. It couldn't have been otherwise at that time.

When my parents got married in 1904 my mother moved to Nemirov, with grandmother. All other children had their own life. Only my mother stayed with grandmother. My father lived and worked as dentist in Nemirov. She lived with my parents until her death in 1916. My father rented half a building in Lipkoskaya Street near the cathedral. My parents worked as dentists and bought a house in aristocratic neighborhood in 1913. The street was lined with lime trees that spread wonderful odor when they were blooming in the end of June.

We lived in a big brick house with a high porch of 8 stairs. There was a big living room (60 square meters). There was oak furniture set upholstered with green plush. It consisted of a divan, two armchairs and two settees. There was a dinner table and a low tea table with a samovar on it. There was also a carved oak cup-board with crystal glass and a beautiful light brown grand piano. My father liked to play it and so did I later on. There were two fireplaces in the living room. The ceilings in the house were about 5 me-ters high. In my parents' bedroom there were two big beds, my mother's dressing table and a green plush padded stool. My room was smaller.

There was a small outhouse in the garden where our gardener Philimon lived. We had beautiful garden with exotic dwarf trees and fruit trees. There were marvelous flowerbeds with roses, phlox flowers and narcissus. There was a small water pool with yellow lilies around it.

My parents were very critical about the Soviet power. They were smart people and believed that they deserved a more successful and happy life. They wished they could have their own clientele and their own business rater than working for a miserable salary. My father daydreamed about theater, but there was no theater in Nemirov and nobody seemed to care about Jewish art. My parents didn't discuss such issues in my presence, but I still heard bits of their conversation.

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Interviewee: Natalia Zilberman
Inna Zlotnik
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Kiev, Ukraine


Natalia Zilberman
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