Lubov Rozenfeld’s grandmother Gitia Rozenfeld with her sisters

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This is my paternal grandmother Gitia Rozenfeld and her sisters. From left to right, standing: Gitia, Yenta, sitting: Rysl, Keila, Sosl. Kiev, early 1920s, Signed on the backside: 5 Bulkin sisters.

My great grandfather on my father's side Mordko Bulkin was born in Zvenigorodka village of Byshev district Kiev province in the 1850s. This was a small village of about 100 houses. Jews constituted about one third of the total population. There was a synagogue and cheder and a shochet in the village. According to the family history he owned a mill and that was how his surname derived from the Russian word 'bulka' - 'a bun'. The village lay in a picturesque area near the wood and Chasov Yar. Mordko built a saw mill near the forest and became a timber manufacturer. His wife Hanna was a housewife.

They had six children. Their older son Gershl was born in the late 1870s, Sosl was few years younger, Keila was born in the early 1880s, in 1885 my grandmother Gitia was born, in 1886 Risl was born and the youngest Yenta was born in 1889. The family was religious. They celebrated all Jewish holidays and Sabbath, followed kashrut, observed Jewish traditions and went to the synagogue. The daughters grew up to make real beauties and though they didn't have a rich dowry there were matchmakers coming to seek their hands from as far as Kiev. In the early 1900s all five daughters got married. Their husbands were Jews and all marriages were prearranged by matchmakers, which was customary at the time. The girls followed their husbands to bigger towns.

My grandmother Gitia was the most beautiful of them. She had beautiful black eyes. Grandmother Gitia married Peisia Rozenfeld who wads a baker, in the early 1900s. I don't know how they met. They lived in Kiev. According to her relatives my grandmother was a cheerful person, though she didn't have a sweet life. She married Peisia Rozenfeld who wads a baker, in the early 1900s. I don't know how they met. They lived in Kiev. According to her relatives my grandmother was a cheerful person, though she didn't have a sweet life. The Rozenfeld family observed Jewish traditions, went to the synagogue on holidays, celebrated Jewish holidays, and on Friday evenings my grandmother lit candles. They spoke Yiddish at home. My grandmother and grandfather had seven children

My father's aunt Sosl and her husband Yankel Fastovskiy lived in Yekaterinoslav (present Dnepropetrovsk). They had six children: David, Semyon, Grigoriy, Yelena, Nina and Mania. Sosl failed to evacuate during the great Patriotic War. Germans killed her, her daughter Mania and Mania's two children (a boy and a girl) and other Jews in Zvenigorodka in 1941.

My father's other aunt Keila married Gershl Khalfin, a Jewish man, and moved to Kiev with her family. They had two sons: Abram and Boris. When the Great Patriotic War began, they both went to the front and Keila and Gershl managed to evacuate. Both sons were in German captivity and later were in the Soviet captivity where they perished. After the war Keila and Gershl lived in a one-storied house in the center of Kiev. Gershl was a butcher till he died and Keila was a housewife. When Gershl died, Keila had nothing to live on. The synagogue found a match for her, a widower with a good pension. Keila died in Kiev in the 1960s.

My grandmother's sister Risl married Shlyoma Polischuk, a Jewish man. He was a skilled cabinetmaker. They had three daughters: Maria, born in 1910, Peisia was a couple years younger, and Anna, born in the middle 1910s. Only Maria of the three of them was married. She married her cousin brother Solomon Rozenfeld. They had two daughters: Ninel and Svetlana. When the Great Patriotic War began, Risl, Maria, Ninel and Svetlana evacuated to the village of Kokan-kishlak in Uzbekistan.

My grandmother's sister Yenta was married to Meyer Sandukovskiy, who was a son of a merchant of guild I, the owner of a brick factory in Kiev. His surname Sandukovskiy was stamped on bricks. They were an educated and wealthy family. After the revolution of 1917 he worked as an accountant at the factory. They lived in Demeevka in the suburb of Kiev, beyond the Pale of Settlement. They had two daughters.

Interview details

Interviewee: Lubov Rozenfeld
Inna Zlotnik
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Kiev, Ukraine


Lubov Rozenfeld
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Working in humanities

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