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My Grandmother Died in the Spanish ‘Flu Pandemic

Many thanks ESRA Magazine for the latest issue #205 which as always provided many fascinating and educational articles.

I would especially like to thank Cynthia Barmor for her article "100 Years On History Repeats Itself" and feel sure that her words spoke for other readers who lost grandparents during the Spanish 'Flu Epidemic.

There were 250,000 victims in the UK during the years of this epidemic. Sadly, I have no photo of my maternal grandmother, Rachel, who died at that time in Stepney, London together with twin newborns, leaving behind my grieving grandfather Jacob and three small children (my mother Eva, aged 6, and two younger siblings aged 4 and 2).

Until recently, I had not even seen a photo of my maternal grandfather but just a fortnight ago my cousin forwarded the scan of an old photo he had found in his late mother's box of photos (my mother's sister). So, during the new pandemic, I saw the images from circa 1919 of my grieving grandfather and his little children shortly after her passing. Unfortunately, my grandfather, a hardworking and very poor man who had escaped the pogroms of the Ukraine in the 1890s, was forced to place the children in foster homes for some years and my mother's sad memories of that time remained with her until her passing in Israel in 1999.

The modern world of 2020 is struggling to contain the new Covid19 virus and we will continue to live in uncertainty for some time to come. May I wish you all a safe passage during this time and take care.

Ruth Sobol

Ramat Efal, Ramat Gan 

 

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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

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