Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Great War

One of the strongest memories of my grandmother: she could not hear German–on the radio or in a movie–without involuntarily crying. On June 22, 1941 Germany invaded Russia. Orsha, my grandmother’s hometown, was captured during Operation Barbarossa on July 16, 1941. Before the war, Orsha had a Jewish population of nearly 8,000. A Judenrat was […]

Family

My aunt, Ninel Ivanovna Efimova, was born in 1924. I heard that my grandfather Ivan was away a lot, traveling for work. Here he is working. What did he do and where? My grandmother become a busy doctor. She loved practicing medicine and worked well past retirement, volunteering at a local clinic. Here she is […]

Petrograd

In 1918, following the Russian Revolution and the emancipation of Jews, my grandmother rushed to Petrograd. Civil War breaks out. WWI ends. My grandmother enters medical school to become a doctor. Here she is, second from the left in the front row, facing the camera. On her way to total emancipation, she joins the Communist […]

A rabbi’s daughter

My grandmother, Henna Yakovlevna Efimova (nee Droznik) was born in Orsha in 1898. She was one of ten children of a rabbi. In 1918, right after the Russian Revolution and the emancipation of the Jews, the children of Yakov Droznik went to seek their fortune elsewhere. This is the Rosh Hashanah card my grandmother’s brother […]