Anna Dremlug with her bicycle

Anna Dremlug with her bicycle


This photo was taken in 1939 in Bologoye. Here you can see me and one of Permit brothers.

We were friends of Permit brothers, they were Jews; all three of them were murdered during the World War II. Brothers played different music instruments, first mandolins, and then violins. I had friends only among my schoolmates.

In 1939, when Soviet troupes occupied Poland, father bought this bike for me. It was the only such women' bicycle in entire town, and everyone paid attention to it.

Usually I drive, and they say, looking at me: 'What a wonderful bike'. And I also was upset over them: why they say that the bicycle is nice, and none pays attention to me and says: ''What a beautiful girl'.

I started school, when I was eight. I studied at the school number eleven, which was called 'eleventh railways'. There were only three schools in town: ours, twelfth railways' and the ordinary one.

Our school was the State one, but railway supported it. For example, we traveled to Leningrad on holidays and vacations. Our school was the very good one, I think; it was the best one in whole town.

We had good teachers (the only one I could complain for was our literature teacher, she was very young, just graduated from the Institute) and got good education.

Our school was a wooden building, actually two buildings, connected with a corridor. It was situated in the very center of the town, on one of the main streets.

We had special hall for sport activities, school provided all kinds of faculties. During the labor lessons we made shelves and sewed things. We had wonderful New Years' Eves, had the Christmas tree, standing in the middle of the school hall.

I recall with pleasure both pioneers' camps and military games: we had to find a hidden flag and so on. At the pioneer's camps military games were popular, which had to prepare youth to defend their Motherland, usually children were separated into two teams, put on different uniforms and were 'fighting'.

Their goal was to find Staff of the enemies and to take their flag. I took part in amateur talent activities; we had a wonderful theatre studio, and our Physics teacher managed it. So I was the main star over there, played the main roles. We performed 'Poverty is not a trouble' [play by A.N. Ostrovsky], and I performed the main role.

There were evenings of amateur talent activities in local Palace of culture [some kind of recreation centre], there was a good House of pioneers Also, when they organized evenings of amateur talent activities, I made some recitation of poetry to musical accompaniment.

I recall my childhood with great pleasure, not paying attention to all difficulties. I had always been in the very center of life, not looking to that fact that I was Jewish. And I had plenty of friends, and was dating, and even had a boyfriend called Valery, he was killed on the front.

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Anna Dremlug