Friday, February 1, 2019

#2 ~ 1960 ~ Our life in Vinnitza, Ukraine

Back to the Beginning

We lived in a small, dark 2 ROOM basement apartment: My Grand Mother Clara, Grandpa Aron, My Mom, my Dad, my sister Alla and I. I was always sick. I guess lack of vitamins and and basic nutrients were the reason. I was in and out of the children's hospital all the time. I found this picture. It was taken after I came home from the long stay in the hospital. They even shaved my hair. I was so little, weak and sad!
Marina Davidovich on the left with Grandma Clara and neighbors, Ludmila and Alex.
When I was in first grade few exciting things happened: we moved from the 2 rooms apartment in the basement, where we lived with my Mom and Dad, my Grandmother Clara, Grandfather Aron and my older sister Alla to a 3 room big apartment in the new development, on the second floor! My father worked for the building company and in order to secure our new apartment, we moved in before it was complete. I remember walking through a" construction" zone for many months. We did not have heat or running water, or even electricity. But it was on the second floor and we did not have condensation running down the walls and we had natural light and windows that were above the ground!!! But the most important: we had bathroom and shower inside!
And then in November my little brother Eduard was born. I was a big sister! My responsibility was to keep the temporary wood stove burning and make sure that baby's blankets were warm. I also remember always being hungry. My Mom would wake me up at 5am in the morning, bundle up my little brother and we would go to stay in line to get eggs and milk and sometimes white bread. Food was rationed and one had to be in line to get ten eggs, milk and sometimes sour cream. I cried "I don't like milk and eggs, I don't want to go!"
In a few months, workers finished the building and it was fun watching other people moving in the vacant apartments.

  Then, in the spring of that year, I was one of 10 girls chosen by my PE teacher to go and try out for gymnastics group in the Youth Sport School. My first coach was Ida Davidovich (who knew she is going to be my mother-in-law?!). She was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. Most of the women wore ugly boots (valenki), she had shoes on high heels, most women wore "babushkas" on their heads, she wore beautiful hats. I wanted to be just like her!

Ida Davidovich, my first Coach ( Photo by Marina Davidovich)
Next Post: 1961-1964 ~ School Years


  1. OK, this brought tears to my eyes. It really puts things in perspective. People have NO IDEA how wonderful they have it here in the U.S. I feel ashamed for ever complaining about anything! Please keep the stories coming!!!

  2. This photograph is so dear. The Elegance and air Ida exudes: star quality!! Thank-you for the sharings and efforts in composing these reflections, Marina.

  3. I am so happy to get to read your story! What a fascinating life you have led. Thank you so much for writing this.