Lev Mistetskiy's aunt with her daughter

Lev Mistetskiy's aunt with her daughter
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  • Photo taken in:
    Zhitomir
    Country name at time of photo:
    Russia, pre 1917
    Country name today:
    Ukraine
This is one of my father's sisters with her daughter. I don't know their names. My father's family moved to the USA in 1925. We had no contact with them. My father's older brother Leo Fink (Leib Mistetskiy before he moved to USA), who returned to the USSR in 1940, brought this photo with him. It was taken in Zhytomyr in the 1910s. My father's family lived in Zhytomyr. All I know about my father's family is that my grandfather's name was Abram Mistetskiy. My grandmother's first name was Sura; I don't know her maiden name. My father had several sisters and brothers, but I only knew two of them. Aizik Mistetskiy, the oldest of the children, was born in 1878. After the Revolution he moved to Kiev. I think, Aizik dealt in trade. He was married, but I didn't know his wife, and had two children: Mikhail, born in 1920, and Lisa, born in 1922. Aizik was an atheist. I also knew a second of my father's brothers: Lev, whose Jewish name was Leib. My father, Fridel Mistetskiy, was born in 1885. I don't know how religious my father's parents were, but his two brothers were atheists. My father never told me about his childhood and teenage years. All I know is that he could read and write in Russian and Yiddish. After the Civil War life was hard. My grandfather and grandmother and my father's sisters and brothers were rather poor and they decided to move to America. In 1925 the family was ready to leave and we joined them. I was just a baby at the time. Mama's parents didn't want to go with us. We boarded the train, when mama's father Froim came onto the platform. He started telling mama to stay and think about her old parents. Mama burst into tears and got off the train holding me. My father got our luggage off the train and we stayed. My father's family left. We had no contact with them: this was dangerous during the Soviet period.

Interview details

Interviewee: Lev Mistetskiy
Interviewer:
Ella Levitskaya
Month of interview:
July
Year of interview:
2004
Kiev, Ukraine

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