The mysterious photo

Since 1961 the big box full of old pictures was kept in a huge wardrobe in my parent's apartment in Moscow.

The oldest family member, Bela Libkind (born Glikin), was the guardian of the relics of the entire family. Her husband, Samuel Libkind, died in 1944 but she tenderly continued a relationship with his brother and sisters. Old pictures she showed to her grandchildren shone through her youth and the youth of her husband's clan. Age collapsed their beauty; time erased their native places. One of them left Russia at the beginning of the century; the trace of his life went with the wind.

Bela mentioned all their names, sometimes told stories but kept the secret about one picture. The only recognizable person on that photo was a famous scientist Albert Einstein in a company of a man and a woman. Who those people were, and how Einstein was related to our family I did not know.  The picture was signed on Hebrew. Our ancestors’ language made on us, young generation, an impression of mystery, so we have never asked our grandmother what was written there. Years flew fast, and in 1981 the box full of portraits of family members left with us native Moscow to settle in Montreal.

This picture together with many others laid in the same old box until 1996. That year I have started my geneology journey after  sudden meeting with my mom's cousin whom I didn't see for over 25 years. He came from Nizhniy Novgorod on a business trip to Canada and visited me in Montreal. We are related on Libkinds' side, and a long interesting research that followed his visit was directly connected to Libkinds all over the world. But the story  I want to tell is about one man, and it began with the picture above. Turn the page...