Irina Lopko’s uncle on father’s side Pyotr Mindel

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The pride of our family, my father's brother Pyotr (Jewish name Pinia) Mindel receives an order for combat merits in the Kremlin. This photo was made in Moscow in 1953.

The family was very proud of my father's younger brother Pyotr, born in 1913. He studied in the Soviet Jewish School in Nezhin. At the age of 16 he moved to Moscow where he worked at a plant and later entered an Air Force School. Uncle Pyotr was a pilot and in July 1941 he was awarded an Order of Lenin for a heroic deed. He was a hero, but he was a humble person and didn't like talking about his heroic deeds. After the great Patriotic War he finished Military Academy and served in civil aviation. He flew across the country in emergency situations. He had many awards. He was a very decent and interesting man. He was the most educated of Mindel brothers. Pyotr's wife Yelena was Russian. She lived in Moscow. She merged with our family and adopted all our traditions like nobody else. She had a good voice and sang Jewish songs. It was funny when Yelena started Jewish songs at our family gatherings. She didn't know Yiddish, but she learned lyrics of Jewish songs. Pyotr died a sudden death from a heart attack when he was on vacation in Yevpatoriya. He was 67. His daughter Tamara was an aviation design engineer in a design institute in Moscow.

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Interviewee

Irina Lopko