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Arkady Shulman

Yekaterina Kozlova

Galina Popova

Yekaterina Kozlova


My great grandmother Zinaida Illarionovna was born in a town called Dubrovno, Vitebsk region. According to the story, her parents arranged her marriage when she was sixteen. The husband was an old man. Unwilling to accept such a life, she escaped to St. Petersburg, where she started working as a maid in a family. There she was treated as a part of the family. She worked there for twenty years and when she turned forty, they said to her: “It’s time you came back home and settled your life.”

Yekaterina Nikolayevna Kozlova.
Yekaterina Nikolayevna

So Zinaida returned to Dubrovno. Her husband had died by that time. She then married Nikolay Yegorovich Matuskov, a widower with five children. He worked as a blacksmith. Despite her age, grandmother Zinaida gave birth to two daughters – Yekaterina and Agrippina.

The Kozlov family.
The Kozlov family.

Aunt Grunia did not have children, while my grandmother Yekaterina Nikolayevna, who married Piotr Georgievich Kozlov and had a weak heart, gave birth to three children – Leonid, Nikolay and Verochka. My great grandmother Zinaida lived a long life and saw her grandchildren grow up. She died in 1941, when the war started.

They say she became a psychic before her death. She was not able to get up. Neighbors would visit her and she would tell them: “Don’t worry. Your husband will come back” or sometimes predicted tragic things. She told her daughter Katia that both her sons would return alive from the battlefront. And so it was – everyone came back unharmed.

In 1945 Yekaterina fell ill with typhus and died. Leonid became an engineer and Verochka – a doctor. Their children have grown up. Live goes on. This is what I wanted to relate about the people I used to know and the people I know about from the stories of my parents.

Jewish settlements in Vitebsk region

Vitebsk Albrehtovo Babinovichi Baran Bayevo Begoml Beshenkovichi Bocheikovo Bogushevsk Borkovichi Braslav Bychiha Chashniki Disna Dobromysli Dokshitsy Druya Dubrovno Glubokoye Gorodok Kamen Kohanovo Kolyshki Kopys Krasnopolie Kublichi Lepel Liady Liozno Lukoml Luzhki Lyntupy Miory Obol Oboltsy Orsha Osintorf Ostrovno Parafianovo Plissa Polotsk Prozorki Senno Sharkovshina Shumilino Sirotino Slaveni Smolyany Surazh Tolochin Ulla Verhnedvinsk Vidzy Volyntsy Yanovichi Yezerishe Zhary Ziabki

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