Lyubov Zlotnikova (née Seltzer-Mihailova)
March 12, 1925 – December 13, 2018
Lyubov was born to a large Jewish family in a small town of Tulchyn in the western part of Ukraine. Lyubov’s mother was the youngest of twelve siblings and her father served as an attorney. Raised in Ukraine, Lyubov’s family was evacuated to Siberia during World War II. When the war was over, Lyubov’s father was ordered to report to Voronezh, Russia, one of the most war-ravaged cities at the time. There, Lyubov attended Voronezh State University, where she discovered her passion for literature, writing, and linguistics. She spent countless hours in the University’s library, composed poems and short stories, and read every Russian novel she could find.
Lyubov’s passion for the literary arts was matched by her interest in politics. In the late 1940s, she became part of an underground political organization that focused on analyzing and discussing the country’s political climate and incoming communist regime. Because their discussions were critical of the current government regime during the rise of communism in Russia, upon its discovery, the federal authorities raided it and arrested every member of the organization, including Lyubov. Lyubov was sent to the infamous Lubyanka prison in Moscow, where she served several years despite her father’s dogged efforts to liberate her. She was subsequently transferred to prison labor camps in Siberia during Stalin’s reign, where she worked as a surgical nurse for the prisoners and in tuberculosis wards.
Lyubov was liberated years after Stalin’s death, having served nearly a decade in prison and labor camps. She returned to Voronezh, finding solace in her studies and completed her degree in philology in 1950s. There, during a chance meeting between her father and his colleague, Lyubov met the love of her life, Alexander Zlotnikov, a young assistant district attorney for the City of Voronezh. They were married just 3 weeks after their meeting and together, they raised two children.
Widowed in 1989, Lyubov relocated to the United States with her children. She lived in New York for one year and subsequently moved to Tucson, Arizona with her daughter and grandchildren. There, Lyubov resumed her passion for studies and attended Pima Community College for 4 years, learning English. Already fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, Yiddish, German, and French, Lyubov became proficient in English in her 70s. While in Arizona, Lyubov enjoyed swimming, aerobics, hiking, horticulture and reading. She frequently traveled throughout the United States, to Israel, and Europe.
Lyubov spent her last years in Portland, OR, surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as numerous friends. She is survived by her son, Simon Zlotnikov, daughter Inna Genovker, grandchildren Eleonora Zlotnikova, Victoria Genovker, Boris Genovker, and great-grandchildren Sasha Lipets and Levi Lipets.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education via
Date: Monday, December 17, 2018
Time: 02:00 pm
Weinstein Chapel at Neveh Zedek / Rose City Lodge Cemetery
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