Russian nesting doll


 My item is the Russian nesting doll from my great-grandmother Shoshana. My grandmother received these nesting dolls from her parents, who escaped Europe at the time of the holocaust.  Her mother came from a wealthy family from Poland and her father came from a wealthy family from Russia, both were Jewish and suffered through pogroms and anti-Semitism.  They left their families and money behind and moved to Israel because they were Zionists. Both of their families that stayed in Europe were killed in the Holocaust. My great-grandparents who once had very large families with many siblings, now only had each other. They had one daughter, my grandmother. When my grandmother was ten years old she moved with her mother to New York while her father stayed back awaiting a visa.  My grandmother had a difficult time transitioning into the American culture; people at school were not very accepting of foreigners.  Her family was also poor because they left behind all their belongings and money in Europe, and they had no other family to support them.  Eventually my grandmother learned English and made friends and became assimilated into American culture.  The Russian nesting doll is one of the few items that my great-grandparents brought from Europe. It reminds me and my family of where we came from and of the struggles that my ancestors had to face. 

Place(s): Poland, Russia, Israel, New York, United States
Year: 1949

– DS

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant