Raisa Oyvetsky honors her family members, including her parents, Moishe (Mikhail)
Bukengolts and Chaya (Klara) Bukengolts, who were born in 1912 and 1917, respectively.
Both were from Glusk, Belarus, but at the time, the city was a part of Russia. They
lived in a town not unlike the village portrayed in “The Fiddler on the Roof.” The
couple survived the war, but the majority of their relatives were killed in Belarus.
Raisa describes her paternal grandfather, Israel Bukengolts, as a short, redheaded
man who was known to be a workaholic and whose trade was blacksmithing. Raisa’s maternal
grandmother was a business owner, and was quite beautiful but very shy. Raisa recalls
that she was named after her grandmother Rochelle, while her brother was named after
the other grandmother. She notes, however, that “I never had any contact with my
grandparents.” Raisa states that because of the tragedy of their untimely deaths,
“it made me aware, very early, of the atrocities caused by Nazis.”