I feel like there are two big parts of my life that I would like to describe in-depth when talking about my life as a former USSR resident and, now, someone who has immigrated to the United States. Let me begin with a little background on myself. I was born on September 27, 1925, into a Jewish family living in Moscow, then part of the USSR. My father, Israel, was a leading engineer in Moscow at the time. He supervised large-scale construction projects in the city and was very well known among engineers. My mother, Elena, was an actress. I always thought of her as extremely pretty, and her mothering was great; she was extremely responsible as a mom. She was very selfless in displaying her loyalty to my father, following him wherever his job took him. I had and still have a brother, Georgiy, who has never failed to bring happiness and humor into my life in tough moments. And that is the atmosphere I grew up in. A huge turning point in my life, as for millions of people in my generation, was of course World War II. My father was taken away to the “great white north” of Russia, God knows where, as a victim of Stalin’s political repression, which definitely did not help with my family’s financial situation. Although my mom, uncle, and aunt all worked to support the family, we had very little money and, in addition to my brother and two cousins, all lived in the same one-room apartment. Yes, not the best living conditions. Food was extremely hard to come by; it either entailed large quantities of money or special certificates that were handed out very infrequently. My diet was quite modest, to say the least. At my still tender age of 15, the family was transferred to Kazan’, to flee the onslaught of the Nazis, and, as I finished my last year of school and began college, I lived in constant uncertainty. Some of my school friends from back in Moscow would go on to be lost in the war, and this fact along with the large numbers of people I didn’t know who died would go on to form my ideas about war: there is nothing scarier than it. WWII may have been the scariest of them all because of two tyrants, monsters, whose rule I had to live through. My father returned after a total of 18 years of exile as a changed man. He had practically no teeth left upon his return. He had become an old man during his time away from home. Amidst all of my curiosity about how he was treated, he never told me. He was an honest man who never lied about what had happened, but never mentioned it either. I overheard my mom once telling someone of how he was beaten upon refusal to incriminate his former colleagues. Just another example of Stalin’s senseless cruelty. I met my future husband Michael soon after the war. He was a well-known historian, who studied medieval England and was considered one of the top of his class. We got married in 1959. Due to the restrictions of the Soviet rule, he did not get a chance to visit England until the 1990’s, which did not help his research. We had one son, Alexander, who has given me two grandchildren. My wonderful husband’s life ended in 1991, shortly before my son and his wife left Russia. The second of my life’s big turning points was my immigration to the United States in 2004. In Russia, I felt dislike towards Jews; genuine dislike even after the war ended. I wanted to move to a free country where things such as the following would not happen to me. One day, I sat on the train in Moscow and I saw a middle-aged orthodox Christian woman sitting across from me. She, all of a sudden, gave me a glare that read hate all over and basically spat at me. I got up and left right away. So, I wanted to live in a country where I wasn’t hated because of my religion, a place where everyone is truly treated as a unique person. Of course, the fact that my son and his family lived here meant it made all the more sense for me to come. And it has been moments with my immediate family that have given me the most happiness in this country. Just seeing my family, which happens quite frequently, lifts my spirits. Some of my most troubled times here have all been caused by illness, but I have found ways to overcome moments of weakness, and life in the U.S. is wonderful at the moment. I would like to finish by addressing the audience. If you happen to be a member of a future generation of my family, I just want you to know that moving to the United States may have been my best decision ever. Cherish freedom over everything in life except family.