My family is originally from the town of Belaya Tserkov. All in the family were Hasidim, and clever with the hands. My grandfather was a first-class shoemaker, and my father was a jeweler. Thus, semi-precious stones – amethyst, topaz – have been in my memory since childhood. There is a family legend about my father. It goes that he has made an earring for Countess Bronicki, as a replacement for a lost one, and she could not distinguish the remaining earring from the replacement. Afterwards, my father had to leave his profession (jewelry became to be considered a form of bourgeois art, an attribute of the exploitative class), and he began to teach gymnastics because he had always been a good athlete.
I was born in Kiev in 1927. My father was killed in the war, and we were evacuated, living in Tashkent. I remember that our teacher caught some turtles and prepared soup for the children, which was really delicious. But of course it happened only once; we didn’t usually eat turtle soup… read more>