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Page 13 - Cayle Chernin: My Russian Relatives

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/6/1 (2466 reads)

Cayle Chernin: My Russian Relatives Four Chernin brothers came from Russia to North America around 1911. Cayle's grandfather, L. H. Cher? nin (Labie), established his business in Cape Breton. In 1935, L. H. went back to Russia, visiting his young? est brother Boris and the rest of the family. With the Second World War, contact was lost • and it was be? lieved the family in Russia had died. Then word came after almost 50 years: "Our father is alive...." L. H. Chernin's granddaughter, Cayle, is making a vid? eo about family. It is caiied "Russian Relatives." We talked with Cayle when she was back in Cape Breton for a Chernin family reunion • the Canadian Chernins. She had shown her video work-in-progress, and a room full of Chernin connections saw their family in Russia for the first time. Here is some of our conver? sation with Cayle: Cayle Chernin: The destruction of the Iron Curtain had an influence on my life and the lives of my rela? tives who live in the city of Bori- sov--a city my grandfather (L. H. Chernin) emigrated from in 1911. We recently discovered that my grandfa ther's younger brother, Boris Cher? nin was still alive We knew from (Rosa's husband), Rosa, Cayle, the family history that Boris Cher- Svetlana Chernin (married to nin suddenly disappeared in the first years of the Second World War In Russia. Right: Cayle with Rosa (Boris's youngest daugh? ter). Above, I. to r.: Abraham Chernin (Boris's son), Dimiitri Boris's grandson). after a fire in the factory where he was working. He was arrested by the Secret Po? lice, and our family considered him dead. After the Second World War, for reasons everyone knows, the family stopped all communication with my grandfather, who lived in Canada, I cannot tell you my feelings when I opened the first letter from Russia, (con? taining) an old photo of my father (Saul, L. H. Chernin's son) with his sisters and brothers, and photos of my great- grandmother (Saucha) and of Boris.... Cayle Chernin's great-grandparents, Mordechai and Saucha Chernin From the letter Cayle received from Russia in August, 1992: Dear Relatives: It is Boris Chernin's children are writing to you. Our father is alive (he is 91) and he's unable to write himself because his hands are shaking. He really is your grand? father's younger brother ("Lable, or Leve in Russian--khown in Cape Breton as L. H. or Louis Cherninj. You sent us the pictures of your great- grandparents CMordechai and Saucha--see photos on left'.... There is the same picture of Grandfather in our father's bedroom and picture of Grandmother, which was taken in her oldest years. The father and we are very glad that finally we have heard from you. It is very sad that Uncle Lable is not with us anymore. We. the older children, remember very well his visit (from Cape Breton) and he will always stay in our memory as a very generous. kind and beautiful person. Cayle Chernin: We left Glace Bay when I was six. I lived in Newfoundland 'till I was
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