My paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Netreba. Her family left the Ukraine well before World War II because, well, it wasn’t the most welcoming place on Earth for Jews to live. There was a running family joke that “Netreba,” like many Ukrainian Jewish last names, meant something bad. Finally, I found someone who spoke Ukrainian - Malice's grandmother - and got her to translate. “It means 'uneccessary',” she said.
Some relatives weren’t satisfied with this answer. “It’s possible that they came to the Ukraine from Czechoslovakia,” said one cousin. “So ‘Netreba’ could be a Czech last name.” I emailed my friend who speaks Czech for his help.
"The closest translation is basically ‘not necessary,’" he wrote.