Semyon Levbarg in a recreational center

I was photographed in a recreation center (2nd on the left, 3rd row from top) after demobilization in Puscha Voditsa, near Kiev in 1946.

In spring 1945 I took part in combat action in Vienna in Austria. The war was over when I was there. This was a lovely sunny day of 9th May 1945 - Victory Day. We were all happy, hugged and kissed each other. This was a holiday with tears in our eyes. We recalled our comrades that hadn't lived to see this day and our relatives and friends that perished in this war.

I continued my military service after the war was over. In summer 1945 I took part in a special task. We were ordered to lead the navy of the Soviet Zone of occupied Germany that was given to our country as reparation. We were ordered to move few dozens of German battleships equipped with newest weapons to the port of Kronshtadt in Leningrad. In autumn 1945 I was called to the headquarters of our regiment. They offered me to stay in the army. I requested demobilization. My decision was motivated by the fact that I had an aging father that was alone. In December 1945 I demobilized from the Soviet army. I had a number of orders and medals and a wonderful Letter of Recommendation from our commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel Levitski. I returned to Kiev.

I immediately went home: there were other tenants in our apartment; I stayed with my school friend Lyova Golfman. In few weeks I met my father, who returned from evacuation. In some time I managed to get back our apartment via the court. I came back from the front and authorities helped us to have our problems resolved easier. Although we returned to our apartment we had to buy everything we needed; all our furniture and other belongings were gone.

I didn't work in the first months after I returned to Kiev. The military registry office awarded me a stay at a recreation center in Puscha Voditsa near Kiev. There were many other veterans of the war. We had a good time. We got good meals and went to cinema or dancing in the evenings. We were happy and believed that the worst times were gone. After I returned home from the recreation center I got a job in the 'Ukrsovkhozspetsstroy' trust (design and construction of enterprises in rural areas). I was an engineer there. I worked in this organization until retirement. I was promoted to the position of Head of Department.