Evgeni Chazov with his schoolmates during a parade on 1 May

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I am photographed with my schoolmates during a parade on 1st May. I am on the foreground. The girl on my right carries a portrait of Molotov. This photo was made in Ternopol approximately in 1948.

I remember Victory Day on 9 May 1945 very well. How happy adults were singing and laughing. Radios played Soviet songs 'Katyusha' and 'Zemlianka' and 'Siniy platochek' that we liked for the rest of our life.  When the war began my father went to the front. He was lucky and his life was merciful to him: he didn't even have a scratch through the whole duration of war. When my father appeared in the doorway of our earth house in Lysva town, Perm region, my mother ran toward him, my sister  fell on his neck and I didn't remember my father and took shelter in the forest from shyness.  My father found me, hugged me tight and carried back home.

My father got an assignment in Sambor, Lvov region, [600 km from Kiev]. About two months later my father was transferred to Lvov. We were in Lvov a little longer than six months. We were accommodated in suite in a hotel.  I went to the second grade of school in Lvov. In February 1946 my father was appointed as deputy chief of political department of the regional military registry office in Ternopol in the West of Ukraine [450 km from Kiev]. It was a high position at that time and was promoted to the rank of colonel soon. When he received a one-bedroom apartment in early fall our family joined him in Ternopol. Shortly afterward he received a two-bedroom apartment with big rooms with much light and a kitchen. My father bought the first furniture in his life at the age of 46: a sofa, wardrobe, a table and coaches for my sister and me.  My sister and I went to school and my mother went to work as a nurse in the surgery department of  the railroad hospital.

In 1940s I got to know what it felt like to be a Jew, even when only my mother was Jewish.  I was called 'zhyd' [kike] at school, even though my father had a high position and was known in the town and I had his Russian surname. I didn't do well at school due to my loss of hearing. My teachers treated me nicely, but I never gave it a thought of whether their attitude was sincere or it was dictated to them by my father's position. I liked literature, history and geography. I didn't do that well with natural sciences.  I was a pioneer and a Komsomol member, but I didn't actively participate in public activities. I didn't have many friends, either. I spent most of my time with mother at home.
 

Photo details

Interviewee

Evgeni Chazov