Zinaida Turovskaya’s grandfather Nusim Gorodetskiy and his 2nd wife Hava

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  • Photo taken in:
    Radomyshl
    Year when photo was taken:
    1920
    Country name at time of photo:
    USSR
    Country name today:
    Ukraine

This is my grandfather Nusim Gorodetskiy and his 2nd wife Hava. This photo was made in Radomyshl in the early 1920s. My mother was born in 1905 in the family of Nusim Gorodetsliy (a shoemaker) in the town of Radomyshl, Kiev province. Grandfather Nusim came from a poor Jewish family. I have no information about his parents. My grandfather studied in the Jewish school for 3 or 4 years. He was a very good shoemaker. He made men's, women's and children's shoes. Sometimes people didn't have money to pay for the shoes and they brought him a dozen eggs or some millet. If somebody didn't have anything to pay with my granfather did his work for no payment. People liked my grandfather.

Nusim and Tsylia had 7 children. Pesia-Lieba, the oldest, was born around 1895. the next child was brother Moishe (1897), Then came Gershko, born in 1899. The next was Basia (a girl), born in 1902, and my mother Hava was born in 1905. Zina came after my mother. She was born in 1909. Dora, the youngest, was born in 1914. Their family was moderately religious. My grandfather had a book of prayers, but he opened it rarely. However, he went to the synagogue every Saturday. Like each respected Jew, he had a seat of his own there.

The whole family got together at the table on Saturday. They followed the kashrut in the family. At Pesah they used fancy dishes.

My grandfather was there alone to take care of 7 children. About half a year passed and my grandfather married another woman - Hava. She had 5 children. Perhaps, my grandfather needed a woman in the house and hoped that she children would be better off if there was one. But things went worse. The children didn't get along and my grandmother's new wife always stood on her children's side.
My grandfather was very happy about the October revolution. He said that it would change the life of poor people. My grandfather didn't have any conflicts with the Soviet power. He worked and had many apprentices. He was a very honest man and people liked him. My grandfather attended the synagogue until it was closed by the Soviet authorities in 1920s. When World War II began, my grandfather's wife and her children were evacuated. Grandfather Nusim refused to leave his house. He believed that the Germans wouldn't hurt Jewish people. He believed, they would treat the Jewish people respectfully like it was during World War I. When the Germans entered the town they shot all Jews on the 1st day. My grandfather's Ukrainian neighbors ran to my grandfather and took him to the basement of their house. They made a shelter for my grandfather and he lived there for over 2 years during the German occupation. These people respected my grandfather and wanted to save his life. They were hiding him for over 3 years.

When Radomyshl was liberated and my grandfather went out into the street his heart failed him and he died. Perhaps, the feeling of freedom and the bright sunshine were too much for him to bear. He died in the yard of his neighbor's house. His neighbors that were putting their lives at risk in their effort to safe his.

Interview details

Interviewee: Zinaida Turovskaya
Interviewer:
Zhanna Litinskaya
Month of interview:
April
Year of interview:
2002

KEY PERSON

Zinaida Turovskaya
Year of birth:
1937
City of birth:
Kiev
Country name at time of birth:
USSR
Occupation
before WW II:
child
after WW II:
Worker at the slide shop
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Yarovskaya
    Year of changing: 
    1961
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

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