Boris Iofik and his friends

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  • Photo taken in:
    Leningrad
    Year when photo was taken:
    1947
    Country name at time of photo:
    USSR
    Country name today:
    Russia

This photograph was taken in 1947 during my 1st wedding.

Here I’ll tell you about my life after the end of the war.

In 1948 I visited Leningrad during my leave, got to know everything about entrance examinations at the Leningrad College of Fine Mechanics and Optics. Then I returned to Germany and got demobilized. During my leave I managed to marry Tsilye Rubezhova. She did not change her maiden name.

My wife graduated from the Library College, and worked as a librarian. But when we got acquainted, she was still a student. It was my neighbor who introduced me to her. My wife wanted to go to Germany with me and even left the College.

We reached the frontier, but she was not permitted to cross it (I don't remember the reason). I gave her money to return to Leningrad. She continued her studies and graduated from her College.

A year later I came back to Leningrad and entered the Leningrad College of Fine Mechanics and Optics, according to my plans. In 1949 my wife gave birth to our daughter Galina. My daughter also graduated from the Library College (she followed in her mother's footsteps). At present she lives in Canada. She has got a son Alexander born in 1975.

I was a part-time student and worked at the machine-building factory named after Karl Marx. And suddenly, when I was a student of the 3rd course I was invited to the local military registration and enlistment office. They took away my passport [in the USSR and Russia the internal passport is the basic document proving the citizen's identity] and said: 'You will serve again.'

It happened in 1951. I was promoted to the rank of junior lieutenant and sent to construction troops at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. We built military units. It is interesting that we knew nothing about the constructions we worked on. It seems to me that they belonged to antiaircraft defense. I was a commander of platoon, and later I was appointed deputy chief of the staff.

In my platoon there were guys from the Western Ukraine and Belarus. They were illiterate, but kind and dutiful. And in the other platoon there served soldiers from the Caucasus, and there happened murders and other troubles. Buildings we constructed were situated near Moscow. Therefore I decided to enter the Moscow Academy at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

I passed through all entrance examinations, got excellent marks, but was rejected for medical grounds. A pretext was my poor eyesight, but in fact the reason was anti-Semitism. I got very angry and started writing official reports to authority about my demobilization. Not to waste time, I entered the Leningrad Construction College (correspondence course). At last (in 1955) I was demobilized.

After my demobilization I came back to Leningrad (to our communal apartment). I found job at the ELECTRON Research Institute (they worked out new models of TV sets). I started as a technician. In 1958 I graduated from my College. At the ELECTRON I worked many years (till my pension in 1992).

Soon after my graduation I became an engineer, later - the head of the group and the leading designer. My work was very interesting, creative. I often went on business trips, most often to Moscow.

I always worked with pleasure and got on with my colleagues well. We met not only at work, but also at home. In 1960 I got ill with arthritis. I felt very bad and had to undergo an operation. After operation I could not bounce back: my teeth started dropping out.

Doctors told me that it was necessary to change the climate. Our Institute had got a branch in Odessa (Crimea), and I was moved there. There I worked a year, living in a hired apartment. I regained my health. I liked the city very much: cheerful southern seaport. There lived many Jews, but certainly not so many as before the war. Then I returned to Leningrad.

During my work I came across no manifestations of anti-Semitism. I was suggested to join the Communist Party, so that I could fill a higher position, but I refused: my position suited me fine.

In 1955 I got divorced. Tsilye got married for the 2nd time, and her husband took her away to Riga, where she lives at present. We are still on friendly terms with her.

Interview details

Interviewee: Boris Iofik
Interviewer:
Olga Egudina
Month of interview:
October
Year of interview:
2007
St. Petersburg, Russia

KEY PERSON

Boris Iofik
Year of birth:
1924
City of birth:
Pskov
Country name at time of birth:
USSR
Occupation
after WW II:
Engineer
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