A Bag of Bread Rusks and a Bundle of Documents

Object Day Regensburg: Viktoria Shtivelman

“Show us your story!” – Beginning in 2017, the Jewish participants in the Object Days project have answered this invitation by recounting their migration stories.

An elderly lady holding an embroidered wedding scarf and a black and white photograph in her hands

Viktoria Shtivelman, born in 1940 in Zaporizhia, USSR, now Ukraine.
Living in Germany since 2002.
“Teacher of Russian language and literature, German language, authorized to teach Ukrainian” (as listed on diploma)

The photo shows our family in Omsk during the evacuation in 1944. My parents, my brother, and me. I remember when survivors of the Siege of Leningrad were transferred to Omsk. They couldn’t get used to throwing out potato peels. They would wash them and dry them on windowsills. My mother always kept a bag of bread rusks under a bench, which she replaced from time to time, and a bundle of documents. So we could run away with the essentials at any time.

The wedding cloth was embroidered by my friend. She gave it to me as a going-away present. This summer, I passed it on to my grandson, to the next generation. A wedding cloth bearing the words “bread” and “salt” is a national [Ukrainian] custom, not a Jewish one.

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