Ivan Barbul with postgraduates of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences

This is me, Ivan Barbul (second on the right), with postgraduates of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences. This photo was taken in Moscow in 1965. We were photographed in the yard of our hostel in Moscow. After finishing school I entered the Faculty of Mathematics of Kishinev University, but then I fell ill and had to quit my studies for the time being. Later, I switched to the Pedagogical College since I could stay in the hostel there. Then I got a transfer to the extramural department getting a job as a teacher of mathematics in Raspopeny in the late 1940s and early 1950s. This was the period of the struggle against cosmopolitans, I remember the murder of Mikhoels, and the Doctors' Plot. However, I have my own point of view on it. I don't refer to this as anti-Semitism. I don't think Stalin was an anti-Semite. Stalin was a politician and he was removing his opponents. He killed more Russians and Georgians than Jews. After finishing my college I began to work as director of the school in Raspopeny. I often went to see my brother in Kishinev and met my future wife, when visiting my distant relatives. She rented a room from them. Her name was Liana Degtiar. I liked Liana at once and I met with her each time I went to Kishinev. When I was director of the school, I was offered a job at the District Party Committee, but Liana believed that I should stick to science. She insisted that I entered a postgraduate course. I enrolled in the postgraduate course of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences in Moscow and lived in a hostel at the Pluschikha in the early 1960s. There were postgraduate students from all over the USSR and we had a full international student body: from Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and I was a Jew from Moldova. Our scientific tutors and employees of the Institute of Mathematics teaching techniques were highly qualified specialists. They got along well both with postgraduate students and lecturers. I went to study in the State Library of the USSR named after Lenin. Highly skilled bibliographers helped me to find the books I needed or ordered them from other places, if necessary. If the book was a rarity, they sent a copy of it. I also studied at the library of the Ushinskiy Academy of Pedagogical Sciences. There were also scientific consultants working in the library to provide assistance to postgraduate students on various subjects. I consulted a specialist in mathematics teaching techniques in Polish schools. I'm still very grateful to many of the specialists for their great support.

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Ivan Barbul