Remembering Grandmother

Object Day Regensburg: Ilya Haradzetski

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

An elderly couple holding an old black and white photograph in their hands

Ilya Haradzetski (on the left) with his wife Sofiya Haradzetskaya.
Born in 1932 in Mosyr, USSR, now Belarus.
Living in Germany since 2000.
Civil engineer.

The photo is of my grandparents and my mother. She would’ve been sixteen then; it was taken in 1913 or so. This is the only photo that made it through the war. My grandfather was a cantor and the administrator for a landowner; my grandmother was very religious. Wherever she was – on the run, at a train station, on a ship – Fridays and Saturdays she would light candles and read from the Torah. All year round she gathered breadcrumbs and flour from countertops, which she then sifted and baked into matzah for Passover. She would heat up the stove piping hot to kosher it. She was a very religious and independent person. She lived with us from 1940 until her death and saved our lives during the evacuation: she grew vegetables and kept watch at night so they wouldn’t be stolen. The photo is over 100 years old. It used to belong to my older sister. Since she died in 2011, I have always kept it with me.