Sofia Palatnikova is the sister of Tatiana Marinina. She was born in 1927 in Teplyk. Her father was a butcher. In the 1930s, she moved to the Lunacharskii collective farm in Crimea. She went to a Ukrainian school for six years, but her schooling was interrupted by the war. She survived the war in Teplyk and Bershad, and in camps in Bratlsav, Haysyn, and Raygorod. After the war, she worked in an industrial complex for twenty-two years.

Other Interviews:

"as soon as they attacked, they were already here"
Sonye's Gefilte Fish

Taking Out the Flour

Teplyk, Ukraine

In Soviet times, while public displays of Jewish observance were heavily discouraged by state authorities, many Jews held on to the traditions of Passover, such as clandestinely baking and eating matzah. More than most other Jewish practices, Peysekh customs persisted among Soviet Jews, in part because of the symbolic content of the holiday's message of national liberation, and because of the memory of participation in the Seyder as children.

In the early years of the Soviet Union, the Jewish Sections of the Communist Party published so called Red Hagaddahs that tried to retell the Passover story as a story of the liberation of the proletariat from the oppression of the bourgeoisie. These Red Hagaddahs were widely distributed through Communist Party youth organizations. Almost none of the people we interviewed remembered the Red Hagaddahs. Instead, they recall traditional seders with their families, but often have difficulty recalling specific details of the ceremony. In Sofia's family, her mother was very careful to observe all of the laws of Passover, though her father was not very religious. There were special dishes for Passover, and the family would gather in the house to celebrate, even in the years when people could no longer attend synagogue.