Anatoli Kraemer


That’s me. The photograph was taken in Tallinn in 1950.

I was demobilized in 1946. I was demobilized in 1946. I was 20, but had neither education, nor profession. All I had were military awards: an Order of the Red Star, a Medal for Valor, a Medal for Victory over Germany, an Order of the Great Patriotic War of the 2nd class. Jews in the Estonian corps were awarded the same way as Estonians were, without any bias.

I went to the municipal Komsomol committee, and I was assigned a Komsomol instructor. I was given a room in the hostel. There was a lot of work in Tallinn. The city was demolished by bombing. All the streets were in shambles. The Komsomol members cleaned them, preparing the sites for constructions of new houses. We worked 12 to 14 hours daily and coped with the work. Then Komsomol members started with the construction of the stadium. Everybody was involved.

When the construction was over, I was assigned to lead the propaganda section. There was a large truck that visited all parts of Estonia. We showed movies, held lectures. It was the first propaganda truck in the Soviet Union. Its work was highly appreciated in Moscow, where I was called to share my experience with others.

When the Doctors’ Plot began, I was dismissed from work on that day. When the campaign against cosmopolitans was over, the attitude towards Jews did not change in Estonia. There was another stage – deportations in 1948-49, but it had nothing to do with cosmopolitans. Rich peasants and Estonian nationalists were exiled. During the Doctors’ Plot I was not the only Jew who was fired, many were. 

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Anatoli Kraemer