My name is Alla, Alla Plotnikova.
Maiden name Zhvanetskaya.
Born June 12, 1935 in Odessa Ukraine.
My father was Isaac Zhvanetskiy Issac Salimonovich And mother Zhvanetskaya Ida but maiden name Maidenberg.
My mother was in her family was was a sort of petite bourgeois bourgeois yeah, who owned a dye shop in not big building of apartments where we used to live in one room.
A big room about 340 square feet.
We stayed there until the beginning of war, 1941.
My father, Isaac, was son.
His parents and mother and father, his younger brother his name is Yaakov, cross secretly cross border of Ukraine and went to Poland.
They moved to America.
But they stay a long time.
They stay in Poland.
It was in the end after revolution, in the end of 1917.
So when they leaving my father behind with his grandmother.
When his grandmother died in the 1918, my father made several attempts to cross the border to join his family, but it was unsuccessful.
He was returned and put to here where they send him to orphanage.
He stayed there until 19 until he got 18.
When he turned 18, he was selected to go to technical school to study mechanical metal repair in the manufactury of locks and key.
In other, he was a locksmith.
He was a locksmith before world war start.
So my family, my family got five members which my father, Isaac Zhvanetskiy, my mother, Ida Zhvanetskaya, my grandmother, Klara, my older sister, Bella Zhvanetskaya and me.
From mother's side, there was relatives.
My mother's sister, my aunt Asya.
Her husband, Mikhail Gorin, his son, Gedeon Gorin and from mother older brother, Mikhail Maidenberg.
From father's side.
there was uncle and three cousins, but my father didn't keep relationship with them.
We got neighbors there was many many nationalities.
Greek, Ukrainian, Turkey.
You know, before the war were all friendly, even Christian people speak Jewish, you know.
So we help each other.
We were very, very friendly.
My mother, she my mother celebrate all, all holidays, Jewish holiday.
In 1941, June 12th, no, yeah, I turned to six years old and then the latest World War begining 10 day later.
Well, at first day, we heard first beginning of war from Soviet Information Bureau.
So at first, see, my father, my mother brother and my aunt's husband, they was mobilized to the front.
My father was sent to fight to defend Sevastopol.
It is south gate of to Ukraine from Black Sea.
He stayed there until August, and early August his regiment came back to Odessa to fight for Odessa.
But in August 19, he was wounded by a missile explosion.
He was buried in deep bomb crater, you know.
And when rescue command found him, he couldn't speak, he couldn't see.
He was trembling like all over.
It was contusion.
And they decide to put him in the hospital for treatment, evacuee hospital.
They send him to Novorossiysk because they knew Odessa going to be surrounded by today enemy soon.
My mother was mobilized like other able-bodied resident to dig trenches for tank, German tanks.
And she rarely was home.
We stayed home with my grandmother.
Odessa was bombed several times a day.
And it was it was I feared to listen a wail of sirens and bombing approaching German's aircraft.
We hide we hid in the entrance of our building under the concrete ceiling or in the backyard of our house was a catacomb underneath.
So it was very, very I can't even tell it was so danger to hear these wails.
And so we decided to move.
When order came to evacuate, my mother, she worked in this hospital, like a nurse assistant.
And she got the tickets and all necessary items.
And we, mother my father he was hospital, my sister, my auntie, her son, we sailed a steamship.
In the beginning of September.
Under cover of night we left Odessa.
Many people, you know, Jewish even Jewish people then don't believe German made them something bad to them.
They left in Odessa they stay in Odessa in time of occupation.
But rumor came when we went came to Tashkent, rumor from far away came what horror experiencing Jewish Ukrainian people from German and German Ukrainian collaborators.
Even we sailed this ship, steamship we got bombed.
And in front of us, there was another steamship, Lenin.
He on board got maybe 4,600 civilian.
They sunk in our eyes, but we couldn't help them because our ship was full of wounded and civilian who helped wounded.
But later, history can tell us that this Lenin ship was sunk by Romanian submarine.
I remember to tell you, when this bombed our ship.
But thank to our guns they wounded our ship we had escaped the Lenin's fate.
But during one of these bombings, I got shrapnel to my left, over there.
In the knees.
So because all people stay in high level of ship.
In the on the bottom there was wounded soldier.
When we came to Novorossiysk, my father was sent to Voroshilovsk to commission of doctors in where they found him unfit to further military action.
And certified him as being disabled and sent him to the hospital for treatment to Tashkent.
We followed to Tashkent by freight train.
To escape bombing to escape bombing of trains the train often maneuvering, maneuvering back and forth.
And during one this maneuver we lost my mother and Aunt Asya.
They run off train to the station to get hot water for children.
And it was horrible.
But thanks to maneuvering, they hopped the stairs of moving train and grabbed these handrails.
It was very cold.
It was minus 25 degrees outside and their hands stuck to the metal.
They should warm their hands by their own breath.
They miraculously survived.
They prayed to God, and they didn't fall.
On the train, she take care of she took care of children.
Of course, she loved us.
She explained everything to us.
She talked to us.
She play with us.
She tried to make our this time be better for us.
She was not like mother.
She was like a best friend for us, for children.
Everything you tell her, even we were wrong, we tell her.
It was we were not so close to our father like we were close to our mother.
Well, during this way, to the Tashkent my cousin and I start sick, get sick of typhus, typhoid fever.
And my cousin, he was three years old, he died somewhere in Orenburg Steppe.
We buried him wrapped in towels in hastily dug pit.
And my times after war my aunt, and her husband tried to find this place.
It was not successful.
He couldn't find this place to get him back to Odessa to bury him.
Some time when we came to other cities some people help us.
Mother got a gold.
She exchange gold for food.
So when we came to Tashkent my father didn't recognize me.
I was so thin like from concentration camp.
And after four months when we reached Tashkent we joined with our father.
He stayed in hospital to the end of 1943.
My mother again start work as nursing aid in a hospital.
We went to school.
But in our spare time we go to hospital and take care about wounded.
I remember everything, you know?
I didn't know why we moved.
I didn't understand.
But I remember every single thing that happened to me.
We were so sad.
I you know if you can see me, I start to talk like a old, old people.
You know, I was only six year olds.
What do you mean, talk with them?
I was very serious.
I would not play with nobody.
Victory came in the May of 1945.
My father and mother decide to go back.
Ah, my sister was born in Tashkent, youngest sister, in 1944.
They She was two year old when we moved to Odessa.
They decided to move to Odessa to liberation city.
They moved to Odessa.
But my father's friend, he was Uzbecki, he thought this suck.
He propose him, go change your nationality, because who knows?
But he thought nothing good waiting for Jewish in your liberated city.
You know, before for world war I didn't, mean I'm Jewish I'm Christian, you know, I didn't experience it like some.
But after war, I knew what this mean to be Jewish.
But we moved to Odessa.
It's my city, his city.
Everybody was born in Odessa.
We love this city.
And then came in 1946 in our ransacked apartment.
It was occupied by other tenants.
But happily they turned back to us this apartment.
My father went to work.
He couldn't work physically because of his wound.
He studied a quick course of finance, finance, and he work as tax finance in the regional finance department.
He changed his profession.
He was locksmith.
But he wouldn't work.
And we still went to school.
I start to understand what means to be Jewish when I apply for college.
I apply for college in metal tool college industry and I pass all exam but last exam I was disqualified because I'm Jewish.
So I was very angry.
No, I took my paper and went to another college.
And this college was only opened in 1950.
There was a lack of students.
I pass all exam in college.
I mean what I was graduated my diploma in refrigeration faculty in Soviet Trade College.
I pass all exams and I was enrolled in the college.
In 1954, I was graduated from college.
Is sent like I got a high-quality diploma.
I was sent to the institute, institute like a university the same refrigeration faculty.
But there were five students from the college with high graduated.
Three Jewish name Sagalevitch, and Weinstein and me and two Ukranian.
Beside two Jewish families was a mark.
And we couldn't enter this.
Sagalevitch and Weinstein, they got the ticket and move to Moscow to go there, complain.
I my father was afraid of everything.
He was afraid of repression.
He told me, no I don't give you money to get to Moscow.
I went back to the administration, college administration, got a referral to work and I went to work to west of Ukrainian.
And Ukranian collaborators who killed many many Jewish in the ravine under Kiev called Babi Yar.
They maybe many many thousands of people was killed in this Babi Yar.
I came to work and I worked there in a metal repair factory for eight years.
I get married over there.
I gave birth to my daughter, 1960.
But in 1962, I decided to go back to Odessa to join my family.
When I came back, I was sent to the same factory in Odessa.
I there I I start to knew what's going to mean be Jewish.
Everybody can say you, yid.
Go to Israel.
Why they send me to Israel if I was born in Odessa?
It very very insult me when I listen to this word every time somebody called me yid, not Jew.
It's very, very it insults me.
Not only me, every Jew was insulted.
And my sister, older sister, she was graduated from a finance credit finance institute.
She was sent to work to Prisma Sverdlovsk region.
After several, several months working there she was persecuted by other workers and had nervous breakdown.
And my father take after my father taking her back to Odessa, he put her in a neurological clinic for treatment.
So she moved to America in 1990.
And after I was even say in a store, something, I talked to someone is some salesman was a Jew somebody tell, he is yid.
So I never stay calm.
I always answer for this abuse.
Oh, it was after war.
Maybe I was 12 years old.
When I was in school, I told you everything was changed.
Behavior of other nationalities was very bad to Jewish.
But I feel it in in school.
So I read books.
I saw, I seen many films with concentration camp what happened to people, by Jewish people.
And I some but tell me who was in concentration camp.
I was happy.
I survived with my family because I moved, I from this occupied by Nazis city.
It's make me very sad, everything I know.
So therefore I remember everything what happened to me through this life.
Even if I was six, I understood everything.
But my kids, my grandson, they far away from this.
My god, every time I cried.
Every time I cried.
When I even listen to something about war, I began to cry.
It's made me very, it's very sad time.
Yeah, I believe in God.
Everything depends of him.
You know, I'm still believe in God.
Because if you don't believe in God, what is life is it?
I don't know why some people from other religion so hate Jewish.
I know they smart, they talented, many many talents from Jewish world.
What's going on?
What they did, what harm they did to other nationalities?
I don't know.
I couldn't understand until right now.
I say why.
My question is, why?