Zinaida Turovskaya’s mother Hava Gorodetskaya and her friends

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My mother Hava Gorodetskaya and her friends in Kiev in 1919. My mother is the one on the left.

My mother's name was Hava. My mother's nee name is Gorodetskaya.

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.

The rules require the oldest woman in the house to light the candles, but my mother was my grandfather's favorite and he often said "Havka, go ahead, light the candles".

The result was that my mother and her brothers and sisters moved to Kiev. This happened some time in 1916 or 1917.

Basia and my mother Hava didn't have any education. Basia and my mother lived with their older sister Pesia-Lieba in Kiev. Her husband Aron worked at the leather shop. After the revolution he went to work at the leather factory. They didn't have children, and they took my mother and her 3 sisters Zina, Dora and Basia into their family.

My mother had no education and she only learned to write her signature. But this was no obstacle to her feeling beloved and happy. My father wasn't a religious person, but my mother was very religious. My father didn't mind her following what she thought was right. My mother said her prayers every day and fasted on the Judgement Day. She celebrated all Jewish holidays at home.

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Interviewee: Zinaida Turovskaya
Zhanna Litinskaya
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Zinaida Turovskaya
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Worker at the slide shop
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