Interviewee: Elka Roizman
Title: Elka Roizman's husband Olter Roizman with his comrades
Place and Date: Kaushany, Moldova - 1950
This is a picture of my husband, Olter Roizman, on the very right, during his service in the army and his fellow comrades in Kaushany in 1950. They are wearing Soviet military uniforms.
When I was in my final year at the Pedagogical Institute I met my future husband, Olter Roizman. He was born in the Moldavian village of Brichany in 1930. His family was very poor. His father, Shymon Roizman, was a shoemaker and his mother, Molka Roizman, was a housewife raising four children. Olter's two younger sisters perished in the ghetto in Transnistria, and his father perished at the front. His mother and older sister survived in the ghetto, but his mother was exhausted after the ghetto and died in 1946. His sister lived in Storozhynets. After his service in the army Olter came to Storozhenets to look for a job. He had a lower secondary education and failed to find work. He decided to go to Chernovtsy where he had acquaintances. They were my aunt's neighbors and gave him accommodation. Before my departure for Beltsy I had a picture of my aunt, her daughter and me taken and left this picture with my aunt. Olter mentioned to our neighbor that he would marry a nice girl if he met one. This neighbor saw a picture of me and asked my aunt if she could introduce her to Olter. He visited my aunt and saw my picture. Later I received a letter from my aunt's daughter saying that a young man wanted to meet me.
I visited them on New Year's Eve in 1953 and Olter and I met for the first time. We had been talking for a while when the neighbor's daughter came in to invite us to her engagement party. This neighbor lived on the first floor. We had lemonade and cookies and stayed there until morning. We had a lot of fun. Olter's acquaintances, who knew me fairly well, told him that we weren't a good match and that he needed to find a more common girl, but Olter was determined to marry me. He proposed to me. Of course, I wanted my husband to be an educated man, but Olter was reliable, and I understood that he would be able to provide for me.
We got married in 1954. We had a wedding party at my parents' home in Yedintsy. There were 60 guests at the party. We had a chuppah and there was a rabbi from the synagogue. He conducted the wedding ritual, and then we sipped wine from a wine glass. Afterwards we broke the glass according to the tradition. Of course, the authorities didn't approve of worship, but Yedintsy was a small town, far from Chernovtsy where we lived and worked. Old traditions and rules were still in force in the town and the authorities were loyal in that regard. It wouldn't have been possible to have such a wedding arranged in Chernovtsy - we would have been reprimanded or even fired.