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Through the Eyes of a Child (cont.)

sve1446d.jpg Berta Strachanski [10 KB]
Berta Strachanski

She participated in the Drama Club,
and appears in the photograph
of the club found in Mordekhai
Kentsianski's account, “My Shtetl.”

sve1446e.jpg Strachanski Family in Kovno [32 KB]
Strachanski Family in Kovno

        I liked to listen to the story of how my father and mother met. My parents, Yudel Mauber and Elizabeth (Leah) Strachanski, met at a dance in Lyntupy, fell in love, and got married.
        My parents' marriage was a “mismatch” according to the social standards: the educated son of a doctor marrying the daughter of a blacksmith. My mother's energy and natural talent for business made up for her lack of education. It was a good match because my parents complemented each other. My mother became the driving force behind the family's success. They started from scratch and, in a couple of years, developed their own timber business.

sve1446f.jpg Yudel Mauber at work [44 KB]
Yudel Mauber at work

        I remember our house. One side was formal, for guests and special occasions, and the other side was for children, always full of young people. In the middle, there was a kitchen and an informal dining room. We had a housekeeper, Amelia, who had been with our family for 20 years, and a nanny who was hired when I was born and stayed with us until I was three years old. My father liked to play volleyball with his sons and their friends. Quite often, in the evenings, he would play his guitar on the veranda. I also remember more quiet moments when my father prayed.
        In 1939, the Red Army occupied the western part of Belarus. My parents lost their business. Somehow, thanks to my mother's energy and resourcefulness, the house remained the property of the family. Her instinct for survival was emerging. Jobs were found and the young people found ways to go on. My three older brothers, Liepe, Monya and Meilach, participated in the Drama Club.
        My youngest brother Boris was very talented. He loved the stage, drama and dance, and was sent to Minsk to take part in a talent show. I enjoyed seeing my brothers on the stage and I clapped my hands harder than anyone else.

Irene and Boris Mauber Liepe Mauber in his
student uniform

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