Photo taken in:KievYear when photo was taken:1957Country name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Ukraine
This is my husband Semyon Goldfine and our elder son Victor and me. The photo was taken in Kiev in 1957. I was twenty when I got a job at a town school. I met my future husband then. It was at the home of Marusia Simanovich, my ex-co-student, where I was introduced to Semyon Goldfine who was almost 26. He was already a well-known journalist, had publications in the Soviet mass media and had a pseudonym. It was Semyon Moiseyevch Gordeyev. They said he loved me at first sight. And I was looking in the opposite direction. To stop his courting I went to Donbass to teach in a new school. And there, far away from him I understood that he was my life. I answered his letters. He immediately came to take me away. He took me as his fiancée, first to Kharkov and then to Kiev. Here I met my future husband's family. He lived with his mother and sister. There were no more relatives. They lived on the ground floor of a small house. There were no conveniences in that house. I didn't have anywhere to live, as there were four of us living in one room with my brother. So, after the wedding I moved in with my husband. His mother and sister accepted me very well. My husband was from very poor Jewish family from a small shtetl, Makarov, Kiev area. I don't know much about his parents, but the family lived a very difficult life. They kept Jewish traditions and all of them spoke Yiddish. We got married in July 1931. Victor was born in 1933. Victor and his brother Leonid took their daddy's pseudonym for their last name and became the Gordeyevs. This was a trick to conceal their Jewish identity. But it was equivocal, as I didn't conceal that I was Jewish at all. In their passports, under Item 5 it was also written that their nationality was Jewish. Victor chose the humanities direction after finishing school. But in the 1960s higher education in the humanities was closed for him, as he was a Jew. The only institute in Kiev that he could enter was the Institute of Light Industry. This institute gave him the profession that he didn't like at all. Victor began to identify himself as a Jew in 1940 when he saw Doctor Mamlock. [This was a German film about a remarkable Jewish physician who hoped for salvation. He was killed because he was Jew.] It was our mistake to take him with us. After the film he suffered from a psychological shock. Later he was overtaken by the tragedy of the unloved profession. He saw the way out of the crisis in running away from his Jewish identity. He married a Russian girl. He wanted his children to have no problems with nationality in the future. He couldn't make up his mind about leaving the Soviet Union, either in the 1970s or the 1980s.