Grigoriy Yakovlevich Husid

Grigoriy Yakovlevich Husid

I am Grigoriy Yakovlevich Husid. I was born in Yelisavetgrad (Zinovievsk, Kirvograd) on 7 October 1924. The town was called Yelisavetgrad before the revolution. After the revolution it was named Zinoviesk after Lenin’s fellow-fighter Zinoviev. In 1934 Zinoviev was declared an enemy. At the same time Kirov was murdered, and the town was called Kirovograd in his commemoration. This is what it is called now. It used to be a prosperous merchant town in Odessa Province. It is located on the rich steppe lands.   According to what my parents told me it was a well-known town. Quite a few politicians and artists came from it. 50% of its population was Jewish.

My family background

Growing up

During the War

After the War


My family background

My father Yakov Yerukhimovich Husid was born in 1900. He was a printer and later he worked on official positions in the Soviet authorities. He didn’t have any education. He was a self-educated person. Later he took classes, studied in the Institute of Red Professorship. He came from the family of small manufacturers. His father owned a printing house. His sons and two employees worked there.
His father’s name was Yerukhim Husid. Husid must have derived from khasid. They say, our ancestors were rabbis in Czekia. Our kin moved to Ukraine. My grandfather was an intelligent person, as he was good at the printing business. He went to Germany, purchased equipment, disassembled and shipped it to Yelisavetgrad. There he assembled it back and started his business.

He had quite a big family with seven children. His oldest son’s name was Buzia. He was born in 1895, worked as printer and died in Kirovograd in 1940. Leonid was born in 1896. He perished in 1914 in the Red Army. His third son George was born in 1897 and died in Moscow in 1920 from spotted fever. Anna (Nekhama) was born in 1899 she finished high school for nobility and died in Moscow in 1969. Esther was born in 1902 and died in Moscow in 1985. Yekaterina was born in 1907. She outlived them all. She was a member of Komsomol League and a cartographer. She died in 1989. My father was the seventh child. The brothers defended each other with might and main and they often fought with other boys. Of all girls only Ania studied at school, and as for the others, they had to go to work. Their parents thought it was stupid and unreasonable to study and pay money for school when the children could just go to work and earn money. My grandfather was a rough person. I would even call him a skinflint. He slept on his wallet, for example. The family wasn’t religious – I never saw any religious rituals. They lived and worked at the same place. Their printing house and their home were on the same floor. This house is still there, in Kirovograd. It looks very decent even for our time. It’s a four-storied building, built in the modern style. The printing house occupied few rooms. This was in the 30s. After the private enterprise was closed in the country, my father closed his printing business, too. But he wasn’t sitting doing nothing. He started making and selling cream for shoeshine.

As far as the children had a profession of printer they all had jobs at state printing houses. After the civil war began all brothers went to the Red Army. They were energetic boys and they were happy about the revolution. Buzia, the oldest brother, worked as printer his whole life. My father also worked in the printing house. During the Civil war he was in the army. He went to the army as volunteer, and he hadn’t reached 18 by then.
They called him to join the gang of the Greens or the gang of Maruska 1, but he went to the Red Army, although he didn’t even know what it was all about. My father was a gunman.
There were many Jewish men in the Red Army then. Later, in 1924, he became a Bolshevik at the Lenin’s appeal. (After Lenin died in 1924, there was an appeal to join the Party.)
They spoke Russian in my grandfather’s family. However, the parents spoke Yiddish to one another, so that the children could not understand what they were talking about.
My grandfather cooked for the whole family and for the employees in the printing house.

My grandmother’s name (my father’s mother) was Friema. I remember well how she looked. She was small and tiny. Her hair was white. She was a very calm and kind woman, very quiet and noiseless. She never yelled. She knew her duty – to feed a whole guard of ten people. We had simple food, but it was delicious. 

However strange it may be, but I don’t remember any books in the house. My grandfather usually printed forms and registers.
My mother’s name was Dora, Debora Moiseyevna. She was born in the family of handicraftsmen.  My Mother was also born in Yelisavetgrad in 1903.We lived either in the apartment with my grandmother or in the house in Yelisavetgrad. My father worked in Kharkov, Odessa or Kiev. When he left Yelisavetgrad we moved to our grandmother Esther, Fira. She concerned with a household. Prepared in that time for small kerosene stoves. Ate we well, most of all I liked when grandmother do gomentash, little triangular pies, with the bouillon, she cooked different strudel pies. Shi in general prepared enough tasty.
Our apartment was in the center, in Timiriazevskaya street, in a solid two-storied building. My grandmother and grandfather and mamma’s only sister moved into this apartment.  My mother’s sister was Klara. She was three years younger than mamma. They studied at school. When mamma was at high school she dated George, my father’s older brother. He was a couple years older than my father, so, my father had been acquainted with her at that time. After his brother died, my father married her.  Mamma wasn’t engaged to George – he was just courting her.

When George was in the Red Army, they sent him to study at the Conservatory, as he had a very good voice. But he fell ill with spotted fever and died. Well, his younger brother married his girl in 1924.
My father’s and my mother’s families had known each other for a long time. They used to visit one another. There were very warm relationships between the families and they saw each other every day. My father’s grandmother always came with little something to our home. Most often these were sweets, even before the wedding my parents.
At first my father worked in the printing house in Kirovograd. Then he joined the Party and got promoted – he became director of the biggest bookstore. The bookstore was located downtown. Later he got further promotion and became a Party official.

There were only a few children in our yard. I had a friend Lyonka Kopeikin – we used to fight with him. I remember him well. That’s a thing about our memory – we remember the bad ones and not the good ones. We were about 9 or 10 yeas old then. Our nationality or our parents’ occupation didn’t matter. I studied at school #13 this was Russian school. I went to school when I was eight. I studied for two years in Kirovograd. But somehow I don’t remember anything about that school. I visited this place recently – the school is still there, at the central synagogue’s backyard. I don’t remember anything about my school in Kirovograd, because we moved to Kiev later.  Kiev was a huge unfamiliar town to me. And my overwhelming impressions of it erased Kirovograd from my memory. I remember that in Kirovograd I was always attracted by the fire brigade.

Growing up

We moved to Kiev in 1934, because my father was promoted to Kiev. He became Chairman of the Book Store Association. Their office was downtown in Cheluskintsev street. We lived nearby, in Malozhytomirskaya street.  We lived in a small two-room apartment. In Kiev I also went to school #13. This school was located in Vladimirskaya street, near the Bogdan Khmelnitskiy Square. I remember this school very well. I still keep in touch with my schoolmates, the ones that are still here. I liked one girl when I was in the third form.  She was my first attraction. I was about 9 or 10 years old then that’s why my love was all feeling and sighing. We were all friends in our class. I still remember their names: Volodya Shubs, Boris Khan, Vova Sats, all Jews.  My best friend Boria Khan lives in America, he is Doctor of Technical Sciences.  Vova Shubs married our classmate Zoya Vazovskaya. They live in Frankfurt, Germany. Vova Sats also lives in America. He was an otolaryngologist here and continued working in the US. It didn’t matter a bit whether one was a Jew or whether one wasn’t.  For example, I didn’t even know that Zoya Vazovskaya was a Jew.

I didn’t study well at school. I had poor marks, but I managed to pass from one form to the next. I read a lot. My favorite book is “Musketeers”. My favorite writers are J. Verne, Walter Scott and Louis Boussenard. I spent my summers in pioneer camps. Sometimes I visited my grandmother in Kirovograd. Sometimes we went to the dacha (summerhouse). I was in Artek once (biggest and famous Ukrainian summer camp) in Luzanovka, in the vicinity of Odessa. I remember it was in 1936 – Gorkiy died then. I wasn’t quite fond of this organized rest. It was too structured. We lived in some plain dwellings. We even went to the beach in groups and in order. There were some games, but I wasn’t interested in them. I was fond of art then.

We were pioneers, of course. I also was a young Octobrist. There was a ritual in the first years of the revolution – consecration.  I can’t remember the ritual itself, but I remember they gave me a blanket and I was adopted into Printers Trade Unions and exempt from payment of membership fee until my I got employed.

I liked to draw at an early age, although there had been no such talents in the family. At first these were child’s drawings. Love took me to the art. When I was in the fifth or sixth form I liked two girls – Tsylia and Polia (twins). These girls went to a dancing class at the Palace of Pioneers. I was shy and afraid to go to the dance class to be near them, so I enrolled to the drawing club in this Palace. It was headed by Kozlovskiy, a graphic artist. There was a jubilee of Shevchenko (Ukrainian poet, writer and artist). I was told to draw a picture of Shevchenko. I had a book. And in it I found a picture of Shevchenko, where he was carrying water.  I made a copy giving it very little thought. However, this picture was taken to an exhibition and I received an award for it: a manual on drawing and a box of pencils. Since then drawing became my hobby. But my love to Tsylia and Polia ended, as everything does in this world.  

I remember 1933 well. In our family we didn’t quite feel the famine. My father was a Party official at that time and we received rationed food. People around had no food whatsoever. We even had some makukha (bran of sunflower wastes) and cereals – no, we weren’t starving to death.

When famine was almost over, they opened a big bookstore in Karl Marx street. Somebody from our school group found out that they were giving sweets and cakes there to attract children. It was literature club there. Our whole class joined this club.  We did eat there. There were cakes and sweets. I remember a long table and us all sitting at the table.  There were discussions, but we were more interested in what was on the table than in literature. When there were too many children on the list they closed this activity. 

Mother and grandmother made matsa for Pesach. But the Jewish character of anything was never emphasized. It was during the postwar yeas, when attention was drawn to this. Before the war this was well-disposed perceived all surrounding us people. On Pesach beside us in the house were going to people different nation this was orderly and naturally. After the war a position is sharply changed, keep Jewish traditions become
nearly indecent, and insecure. Neighbors could  to tell in state organs and beside on could be troubles. First mother made matsa in the secret from all, but much soon ceased at all this to do.

We didn’t have political discussions in the family. Perhaps, they discussed something, but I was never interested in these subjects. The subjects of policy or work issues or critical attitude were closed.  There wasn’t much criticism, anyway. I remember in 1937 when my father was Chairman of the Radio Broadcast Committee he packed his suitcase and was awaiting arrest. He had been fired from work and expelled from the Party.  What happened was that they read the verdict of Trotskiy fellow-comrades on the radio, and after they finished they started broadcasting some funeral march. And my father was on business trip then.  My father’s deputy was arrested immediately. But my father wasn’t arrested. But still – he wasn’t in the Party and he lost his job. These were troubled times, and he expected arrest. Later, when it all settled down he went to work again, but he was put on a lower position. He worked at the consumer association. He wasn’t involved in policy or culture any more. However, they returned his Party membership card to him, and it was good that he had not been arrested or convicted. He was happy about it, as at that time they were arresting people for nothing. I was 13 when my father was awaiting arrest. Everybody believed that Trotskiy fellow-comrades were enemies. There were few of those who believed otherwise. We, students, believed that everything they were doing to the people was correct and had its reasons. Stalin was the one who, we believed, constituted our life basis.
Mamma worked as an accountant at that time, but I don’t remember where. Mamma loved beautiful clothes and she could make her own clothes. I can sew a little, too.

We had neighbors in our apartment. I remember their last name was Vinnitskiye. The man was a Jew, but later he got christened. His wife was Russian and they had no children.  We were not friends with them. We just co-existed: we occupied two rooms and they lived in one.
We, kids, were fond of theater before the war. I loved ballet and cinema most of all. I always liked ballerinas and I still love ballet.

During the War

The war started when I was about to go to the 9th form at school. We, boys, knew that there would be a war and we were sure that the victory would be ours.  In 1935 there were maneuvers in Kiev under the commandment of Yakir. There were some training landing operations and I watched them. I saw Voroshylov when he came to Kiev. The war was in the air. I went to the sniper school, and was master of shooting. Everybody knew there would be a war, and they were preparing to the war.  We were just boys, and the beginning of the war was an exciting event for us. War! How interesting! Great! Of course, we shall win! It was a sunny day when they declared the war. In general, we were in high spirits and there was no pessimism. Father had been summoned to Lvov few days before the war. We were staying with our mother. She was concerned, but we, boys, were so careless and happy that I didn’t notice her concerns.  My father was first lieutenant, he didn’t find his military unit near Lvov. He joined some other unit, and they were trying to escape from the encirclement and disappeared.  My mother left on 9 July with some organization. I was on the railway station with her. I was going to evacuate. But at that time the teens were summoned to the military committees. We heard they were planning to send us to the East to train and get summoned to the army in a year or two.  So, I didn’t go with my mother – I went with the boys. There were 200 of us from Leninskiy district of Kiev. Our commander was a man. We called him Bare Skull, as he was bald-headed. They got us all boys together and we went to the East via Brovary.

I put on my best suit: Polish black suit with wide shoulders, and English boots on high sole. My father sent me this outfit from Poland in 1939. He was in the Red Army then and took part in the liberation of Western Ukraine. I was stopped several times on our way. They suspected I was a spy, because my clothing was so different from the others.  Now I realize that I looked stupid. We were going to the East and some of the boys wondered about. I liked to walk fast. There were few of us ahead of the others.  We were the first to enter villages, and people there met us nicely and gave some food. This was the only food that we had – I can’t remember any organized meals or rationed food. Generally speaking, the first ones in the column always had some advantages. Every now and then there were air raids. The planes were flying low above our heads, but we weren’t scared. In Donetsk they divided us into groups. I was sent to Dnepropetrovsk region. We were to gather crops there, work on the winnowing machine or load something. We worked there a week. And then they sent us to dig anti-tank ditches near Guliaypole in the vicinity of Dnepropetrovsk. They gave me two bulls, a plank and a stick. I had to remove soil from the pit. The most difficult thing was to catch those bulls. You let them free in the evening and then it gets almost impossible to catch them! We stayed a week and a half there. German airplanes came there, too, to fire at us.  So we were digging those ditches when some guys came and said “What are you doing here? The Germans are already behind you”. We avoided the roads. German motorcyclists were going on the roads.  We were hiding, we didn’t want to be noticed. It was a war, we knew. As soon as they passed by we got on our feet again.  That was almost flat steppe. Ad there was a village lying beautifully in the curve of land. A clean village, white houses and the German signal flares above the village. It was unbelievably beautiful.   There were no Soviet authorities left in the village. People told me to go away. There was a grain elevator in two or three kilometers from the village. They transported grain to Donetsk by trucks. They took me with them and we drove to Donetsk.  There was Daddy’s acquaintance from the civil war years. His last name was Alexandrovich.  He was in the army, but his family was staying there. When my mother and I were saying “good-bye” to one another, she told me to come by the Alexandrovichs in Donetsk (she knew I was heading to Donetsk) and she would let them know where she was. The Alexandrovichs told me that my mother was in Kuibyshev. All my friend have left, who where, search their own native. I decided to go to Kuibyshev. All roads were packed with trains. I just moved from one train to another, walked sometimes, stayed overnight on a platform or near a train. I ate whatever the Lord had sent me. All people were moving to the East. There were some from Kiev among them.

Bare Skull had all our documents. He gave us back only our birth certificates. We didn’t have passports. It took me two or three weeks to get to Kuibyshev. I came there with fleas, dirty, all this time I didn’t have a wash or take off my clothes. It was cold already. I came there on 7 October 1941, on my birthday. In Donetsk I received some special uniform, and on the way I exchanged it for sausage and bread. In Kuibyshev my mother worked already as an accountant at the Bread Department. She lived a small corner in an apartment, behind a screen. She didn’t know anything about me through all this time. Of course, she had been very concerned.  I was standing there but it was too dangerous to approach me. I was so dirty that they pulled all my clothes off me and put them into a metal milk canister. Then I announced my arrival at the military committee. I got a job of a draftsman at the place where mamma worked.

I didn’t work there long. I was registered at the military committee and sent to the aircraft plant. It was Moscow plant #24, named after Frunze, that manufactured attack planes, the so-called “Black Death”, the best ones. At the beginning of the month they put me to work as a mechanic. It took me few months to learn this profession. Then I was transferred to a test facility, where they were testing aircraft motors and trained to work with aviation devices. I was responsible for maintenance of devices and equipment repairs. At first I lived with mamma in Kuibyshev. Then I lived in an apartment with a family from Kiev.  My plant was located in Bezymianka, 15-17 km from Kuibyshev. We went to work by train or stayed overnight at the plant to save the journey. There I became a Komsomol member.  This happened in 1942, and later I became head of a Komsomol unit. I also became a Party member there. I was supposed to be summoned to the army in 1943. I had been on the conscription for a while, when my mother (she received some certificate and money for my father at the military committee) made some arrangements to have me sent to the Artillery school. I packed all my belongings and was standing there among the others happy to be finally joining the army, when all of a sudden a few of us were sent back to work. They explained to us later that we were assigned to work at a military plant.

The people treated us nicely. There wasn’t any anti-Semitism. Of course, I wasn’t running around telling everyone that I was a Jew. But I wasn’t ashamed of it, either.
We didn’t know about what was happening to Jewish people in Kiev. It became known after the war. Erenburg [Erenburg Ilya (1891-1967), very known Russian writer, publicist (hiss nation -Jew).] wrote articles on this subject, but it was more a call to be against the Germans than description of what the Germans were doing. Later I found out that my grandfather, my father’s father committed suicide – took some poison in Kirovograd when the Germans came there. He was familiar with chemistry.   And his older brother killed two Germans with a bench. When the Germans came to his home he knew what to expect from them. He grabbed a big bench and killed them. The other Germans shot him.

After the War

We were very happy to hear about the liberation of Kiev. We felt winners. We were dreaming about going home. But it was not to be soon. I worked at the military plant and they did not let me go. It was a cold and hungry time. My uncle Lyonia Unshtel, the husband of mamma’s younger sister Katia, sent me a pair of boots. Everything was rationed there. My ration was 400 grams of bread - this was much. I worked on a test station, and this involved work with engines and oils – hazardous work. We were given milk for hazardous conditions.  We also had meals at the canteen.
We didn’t hear anything about my father until 1944. In 1944 he was moved from the front to Uralsk. Her worked there in the Aviation College where he served until the end of the war. At the end of the war my mother went to join my father in Uralsk.

In 1946 mamma returned to Kiev from the evacuation. In Kiev mamma met my drawing teacher Alexandr Ivanovich Fomin. He asked her where I was and helped to obtain a request to send me to study at school. It was impossible to get to Kiev without such request. I was 22 when they let me go.
After the war the Art school was looking for all those that could continue to study. This school prepared students to enter the Art Institute. Only 4 people of those who studied there before the war continued to study at school. All others perished. I was strongly oriented to master art. I dreamt about it throughout the war. When in Kuibyshev, I had a short meeting with art. Lifanov, Savitskiy, very interesting artists from Moscow, were in the evacuation there. They established a night studio. I went there whenever I had time. But it was rarely that I could find time.  I came back to Kiev very enthusiastic about proceeding with my studies. The school was directly in the building of the Art Institute. I decided to study sculpture. My teacher was Kovalyov. He is the author of the monument to Pushkin in Kiev. The conditions were hard – it was cold and hungry. But we were studying.
Our family returned to our former apartment. There were neighbors in it - we occupied two rooms. There was one family of neighbors – the Elberts. The head of the family used to be my father’s colleague at Oblpotrebsoyuz (Regional Consumer Association). After the war my father continued working in Oblpotrebsoyuz. He got a job at the same organization but he didn’t hold management positions.  Mamma didn’t work: she was a housewife. We were fond of studies. However, there was a change in policy towards the Jewish people. There were few Jews at school. I was the only Party member in our school and I was elected secretary of the Komsomol group.
The school was established to prepare students to go to Art Institute. Therefore, the same lecturers taught in the Institute and at school. They knew their students and their capabilities. In 1946 there was small competition to enter the Institute. This was a special Institute, homework was of special importance. My public activities took much of my time. Once I was even editor of the Institute wall newspaper. Our newspapers were 30-40 meters long yes, yes, visualize! These were mostly pictures. Students were very industrious then. They were mature people, they knew the cost of life. Mikhail Grigorievich Lysenko, People’s Artist of the USSR, was my teacher.  He was the leading sculptor in Ukraine. He was an invalid and he could do very little with his hands. He had assistants that helped him. For example, the monument to Schors in Kiev was made by his assistants. He made sketches and gave advice and supervised their work.

The attitude towards the study of foreign art was very strict. I remember, during the first years of our studies even to mention impressionism was forbidden. Modern post-impressionism was excluded from the circle of our attention. We neither saw nor knew all this. This was servility before the west.
I graduated the Institute at Gelman’s shop. He was a Jew. Muravin from Moscow was also Jewish, he suffered during the struggle with cosmopolitism, and as a result, he lost his job at the Institute. His name was Muravin Lev Davidovich. Those who were at the head of this struggle against cosmopolites did a lot of harm to Muravin. Muravin was very educated, perhaps the most intelligent of all professorship at the department of sculpture and he was the most talented one. But still, he was suppressed and had never been awarded any titles or honors for his work. I was a grown up person and could see the background of what was happening around. We could feel that different attitude towards the Jewish people in the air. My father also knew it at  his work.
Later I met a girl that was to become my wife. Her name is Inna Atonovna Kolomiets. She studied at the same Institute where I did. She was one year older than I. She started her studies before the war. During the war she was in the army and she continued her studies after the war. Before the war her father was Director of a plant. He evacuated his plant, but he couldn’t get out of Kiev himself and he died. His driver gave him out to the Germans and they shot him. Her mother evacuated with Inna.  Inna finished her studies at gelman class.

Inna is not a Jew and my parents were not very happy about our marriage. Not only because she wasn’t a Jew. She had a child and her husband perished during the war. Regardless of my parents’ concerns we have lived happily with her for 50 years.  As for her mother, she had no objections to our marriage. We’ve lived together and have had no national conflicts. In 1952 I graduated from the Institute and we got married. The situation was bad at that time. The “case of doctors” was in the process. It gave an unpleasant feeling. We basically didn’t believe it all. We realized that all of that was a political action against the nation. We understood it long before it was all put into the open.  We respected Stalin as a personality. We thought he did much for the country. He knew how to be the leader. I remember how much energy in the people he generated even to evacuate the plants to the East. But when national oppression began, it was not so good. But I continued to be an active Party member. I was a secretary to party organizations in sections of sculptors of alliance of artists. I believed that all in our country occurs correctly and tried, do so that that who work with me beside too in this have believed. I conducted caucuses and explained to people to politician of Communist party.
In 1952 I finished the institute. I received a free diploma to do my creative work. I found a job and obtained an assignment paper from the Institute to the Palace of Culture at the plant “Bolshevik”. I worked there until 1999. They paid very little – that amount could hardly be called salary. What I’m doing is my hobby and it has always been so. My wife worked at the handicraft art school. We were members of the Union of Artists and worked in the Art Fund.

My greatest creation is the monument to Military Glory in Zhytomir. This is a tall monument, of the height of a 12-storied building, with bridges – a whole complex.  I made what they ordered. What I made for myself I exhibited at exhibitions. I worked with the subject of workers or military subject and made portraits.
To be frank, my being a Jew, and my last name Husid had an impact on my career. I could teach at the Institute.  My Jewish origin had an impact on my trips abroad. I had to submit my documents twice or three times to go abroad. They would loose my documents or delay the review or anything else – they always had enough reasons to not let me go.
Basically, I am an internationalist. You understand, it is based on my upbringing. I took to the Jewish subject 5 years ago. My wife said to me “Come on, you are Jewish, you ought to do something Jewish”. I didn’t have enough knowledge. Although I had few Jewish friends it wasn’t enough. So, my wife directed me at this subject She is very seriously involved in the Ukrainian folk art. This subject has always been exciting for her. As for me, I’ve been interested in general subjects and not national. But recently I started reading more about the Jewish issue. This inspired me to create new works. I went to Kirovograd where I was born. I went to their synagogue. I didn’t feel pangs of conscience there. In Kiev I do not go to the synagogue.  I am not a religious person, and in Kiev it is only allowed to enter a synagogue to pray. My wife has never had any anti-Jewish opinions. She studied at school #79 – there were many Jewish girls and boys there. She has been among Jews all her life.  She respects Jewish people and she knows their weak and strong points, like any other nation.  When we got married the four of us were living in a 13 m2 room: her mother, her son, herself and me.

In 1956 our daughter Marina was born there. Later we moved into this separate apartment. My parents stayed in that apartment where we had lived. In 1962 my mother died from cancer, and my father died in 1970 from a stroke. He lay in beds and was paralyzed seven years. I was taking care of him. Later I hired a woman to take care of him. Well, their life story is rather sad.
Marinka, our daughter, was a very nice girl. She studied at the art school. She wanted to draw when she was very young. Talent is just work. She worked a lot and was successful. She managed to do a lot in such short time. She wanted to enter the Art Institute and learn to be a theatrical artist.  She made a very interesting composition for her entrance exam. They put her a bad mark and refused admission. She entered the Art Institute in Lvov.  She always had my last name – Husid. She didn’t even think to change it to her mother’s last name – Kolomiets, although in her passport her nationality was written Ukrainian. Her last name was sometimes an obstacle for her. Once they were sending a group of young artists to Italy. Her documents were at the Komsomol Central Committee. She was asked there “Why such strange name – Husid, when your nationality is Ukrainian?” She answered “My father is a Jew, and he has a Jewish name. I have my father’s name, and my mother is Ukrainian”.  They didn’t let her go to Italy. She participated in exhibitions and various trips. During one of such trips of young Ukrainian artists to Uzbekistan she died in a car accident. She could do handicraft, big mosaics and paintings. She could also make stained glass paintings. She could do small things and then turn to monumental things. She painted a big composition in ceramics in the Olympic Center in the vicinity of Kiev.

Marina left her little sickly son. Danichka has cerebral palsy. He is in Czechia now with his father. They moved to live there, as Danichka needs medical care for a lifetime (In Czechia much better cure this disease, than in Ukraine). We with wife often its visit. He can move and walk. He can draw, too. Last year I organized an exhibition and displayed works of the three Husids: my daughter’s, my grandson’s and my own works.
I’ve developed more interest in my Jewish origin and identity. I would like to go to my historical Motherland, Israel and, perhaps, stay there. Hopes that we with the wife will be able there to go to this. We much interesting see there own eyes this country, feel its history and culture. While we sound and continue to work, I think that such possibility introduces.
Meanwhile, I’ve heard that they opened a Jewish museum in Kirovograd. I decided to give them Marina’s stained glass painting.
I’ve become interested in my origin, in chasids. I wonder where my name Husid comes from. It’s interesting that when my grandson and his father went to Czechia the circle closed. I mean, our kin came from Czechia and went back there. There must be some specific flow of life.


1 Gang groups

There were many of them during the civil war in Ukraine.