All the photos are taken in town of Mscislau (Мсцісла́ў).

My grandma is from Orsha (Vitebsk region) and grandpa is from Mscislau (Eastern Belarus). They are Jewish, and they both survived the war and Holocaust. Grandma Dora — babushka — was in evacuation in central Russia, where she learned Russian language. Before she could only speak Yiddish and Belarusian. Grandpa Chaim was a soldier of the soviet army during the War, he was а signal man (radio-operator) and he got to Berlin fighting Nazis on the way. After the War they met in Orsha in 50s and moved to Mscislau. Before the War in Mscislau there were twelve synagogues, nowadays there probably are twelve Jews living there and obviously no synagogue remained in town.

In the 50s grandma worked as a teacher of Belarusian literature and grandpa was chief editor of a local newspaper, then he became a maths teacher in high school.

My grandparents lived in old small wooden building of ex former school (together with five other families) they got some small piece of land and modest household, so most vegetables and fruits on the table was self-grown from their garden, and surely they grew the most delicious potatoes.

Chaim was cultivating his land with his own hands until the age of 90. For me, my grandparents are example of sincere and genuine union of two loving hearts who together faced very harsh challenges of the time after World War II.

My grandpa passed away in January 2014. Babushka wrote on his grave: There is no death, there is only eternal love.

After Chaim’s death Dora moved to Minsk to live in my mother’s (her daughter) apartment Every time I visit them, babushka tells me some crazy and interesting stories from her life.

 

My granparents

Landscape of Mscislau neighborhoods

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Grandpa preparing himself for 9th of May parade (celebration of end of the war)

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Babushka is writing a letter to her son

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Solving the crosswords

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Solving the crosswords

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Solving the crosswords