Anti-Semitism, Relationship, Decision to Leave, Starting Over

Sima Shumilovsky  .jpeg

“If somebody had a bigger apartment-bigger room-this family would be the poor family because they would always have the entire family use their apartment for weddings! My mother’s cousin-Aunt Clara-had one room, but it was huge, and every wedding, anniversary, birthday was held there. It’s like a normal thing. You come and say, ‘O.K., we have a date coming, we use your room.’ Of course, it wasn’t everywhere like this, but our family was very friendly and close.”

- Sima Shumilovsky

Sima Shumilovsky on left and sister Emmilia Kogan

Nadia Smirnov  .jpeg

“My mother was the first one in our family who wanted to go and who actually made the preparations. She is a very energetic person. We went quickly to get an application, to stand in line…My father felt terrible. He was lying on the couch all the time, so depressed. I think he thought it was the end of his life. On the one hand he understood there was no future in Russia; on the other hand, he spent all his life there …

I do not think I will fit in for the rest of my life one hWldred percent, but a lot is changing and probably I myself will change more. Most people never think about the language, about differences in cultures. It’s one thing to Wlderstand there’s a difference, but another thing to actually live it. So, I don’t think we’ll ever fit in, but we can get used to it, we can adapt, and my daughter is already American.”

- Nadia Smirnov