Malea Veselnitskaya’s mother Dina Ostrovskaya with her sister Chaya Ioshpa and her brother Yuda Mogilevski

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    Russia, pre 1917
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This is my mother Dina Ostrovskaya (in the center), her sister Chaya Yoshpa and her brother Yuda Mogilevski. This photo was taken in Kremenchug in the 1910s. Yuda is wearing a school uniform. This form he may have borrowed to get photographed, because Yuda never studied.

Shortly after grandmother Malea died, grandfather Ruvim Mogilevski married a Jewish woman who had a son. His wife mistreated grandfather's children and chased them away from home, including her son. Their neighbors gave shelter to the children. Later, when the eldest brother Aron in the age of 13 started to earn money he rented a room and his brother and sisters were living with him. Grandfather Ruvim kept out of touch with them. At his old age he got blind from glaucoma and died in Kremenchug in 1920. He never made it up with his children.

My mother Dina Ostrovskaya was born in Kremenchug in 1897. After her mother died and the children's stepmother chased them out of their home my mother went to work. She was 5 years old. Their neighbors sent her to work at the tobacco factory. My mother worked at the cigarette loading shop. She had to load tobacco into cigarettes standing on a box to reach the table. When a foreman came into the shop other employees hid my mother. Later she earned by babysitting. My mother didn't go to school. At the age of 14 my mother and her sister Chaya became apprentices in a stocking shop. Chaya learned the profession, but my mother failed. A year later my mother returned to the tobacco factory where she worked in shifts. In 1916 my mother, Chaya and Yuda gave refuge to Babl Ostrovskaya, an orphan girl. One of their acquaintances brought her to their home. My mother was 19 and had a fiance. At that time Babl's brother Isaac Ostrovski came looking for his sister. He returned from German captivity. He met my mother and they fell in love with each other.

My mother's older sister Chaya was born in 1895. She worked at a stocking shop. She had no education. In 1920 she married Marcus Yoshpa, a shoemaker and became a housewife. Chaya was religious. She observed traditions and went to the synagogue. In 1921 her daughter named Malea after her grandmother was born and in 1923 her son Ruvim named after his grandfather was born. Chaya and her husband's family moved to Tashkent, to Uzbekistan, in 1925. In 1927 her son Shurik was born and then Pavlik, their fourth child, was born. During the Great Patriotic War Shurik, at the age of 15, was eager to go to the front and some distant relative, a professional military, helped him to enter a military school. In 1943 Shurik was sent to the front. He was wounded near Kharkov and died in hospital. Chaya's older son Ruvim was a professional military. His wife Galia was Russian. They had two children. They lived in Fergana, in Uzbekistan. Ruvim wasn't at the front during the Great Patriotic War. In the middle of the 1950s Ruvim demobilized and moved with his family to Rossosh town, Voronezh region where he worked as equipment depot manager. He died of heart attack in 1977. From what I know Chaya's daughter Malea moved to Canada. All I know about Pavlik is that he is married and lives in Israel with his family. Uncle Marcus died in the 1960s and aunt Chaya died in Tashkent around 1980.

My mother's younger brother Yuda Mogilevski was born in 1900. He didn't have any education. He worked as a janitor and then a loader in a storage facility in Kremenchug. He married a Jewish girl in 1921. Her name was Hana. In 1922 their son Ruvim was born and in 1924 they had a daughter Etia. Yuda and his wife were very religious. They observed all Jewish holidays and went to the synagogue. In 1938 their son Fima and in 1939 son Marik were born. When the Great Patriotic War began Yuda's son evacuated to Tashkent and his older son Ruvim went to the front. After the Great Patriotic War Yuda's family stayed in Tashkent. Ruvim was wounded in his right hand and demobilized. He came to his parents in Tashkent and went to work at the aviation plant evacuated from Moscow. He married a daughter of director of this plant. Later he moved to live in Moscow Region with his family. Ruvim had two children. In the 1970s Ruvim and his family moved to Israel and I lost contact with them. Yuda's son Fima was mentally ill and kept in hospital. This is all I know about him. Daughter Etia finished Polytechnic College in Tashkent and married a Jewish man. Her husband was an invalid. After the war Etia worked as an engineer. She had a daughter. Uncle Yuda died in 1979 and his wife Hana after one year. Etia, her husband and daughter moved to Israel in the 1990s. They live in Ashdod. This is all information I have about them. As for Yuda's son Marik I know that he lives in America with his family.

Interview details

Interviewee: Malea Veselnitskaya
Natalia Rezanova
Month of interview:
Year of interview:
Odessa, Ukraine


Malea Veselnitskaya
Year of birth:
City of birth:
Alexandria, Kirovograd region
Country name at time of birth:
after WW II:
Office clerk
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