Sholom Rondin’s older son Gennadiy Rondin

My older son Gennadiy Rondin. Photo made in Gomel in 1940, when he turned one year old and sent to me in Murmansk where I was in the army.

At the end of 1939 my wife gave me a son. We named him Gennadiy - it was a popular name at that time. In 1940 I was recruited to the army. They ignored that I was a breadwinner in my family and that my wife had a baby. It was possible to pull some strings to avoid going to the army, but I am not the type of person to get involved into such dealing and wheeling. A law is a law.
I was sent to the field-engineering unit in the town of Murmansk in 3500 km from Gomel.

My family was in Gomel in 1941 and I was very worried about them. Although my grandfather told me that during the Civil war Germans were good customers and were polite. My wife and son evacuated with my wife's parents. My wife notified the rest of the family that they were in Mamlyutka village in the Northern Caucasus. My wife's father also had all equipment of his garment shop evacuated. They opened the shop in Mamlyutka and my wife went to work there. They made uniforms for the army.

I missed my wife, my son and work. Letters were delivered to us by a night train. My wife and child were in evacuation until 1946. They notified me when they returned to Gomel. I submitted an application for a leave and in summer 1946 I left home. My commanders offered me to continue my career in the army and promised promotion, but I couldn't care less about promotions. I wanted to reunite with my family and dreamed of holding my brushes at work.

After demobilization I went to Gomel. My son was 6 years old. When I was leaving he was just a baby and when I came back home he was about to go to school. Of course, the boy didn't recognize me when I arrived, but it took him no time to get used to me. My wife told him about me.