Stela Astrukova at the graduation of high school in 1945
A photo of me for the graduation of high school in 1945.
There is nothing on the back of the photo. I cannot remember where it was taken.
I am dressed in my school uniform which was obligatory – black apron with white collar and a monogram of the high school and a ribbon.
We also wore a beret with the sign of the high school
I graduated the classic high school where we studied Latin and Greek, because I wanted to become a doctor.
I was influenced by the movie on Robert Koch, a German physician who discovered the tuberculosis virus. The name of the movie was also 'Robert Koch'.
I remember that his style of work, devotion and detailed investigation of the origin of the illness impressed me deeply.
From high school I remember our literature teacher Sakarova, sister of the great politician, the social-democrat [Nikola] Sakarov.
She was a lean and tall, neatly-dressed woman. She loved her job and instilled that love in us.
We all loved her very much. She also taught us Greek mythology and Greek language. Had gone to Rome and showed us photos.
I was much impressed by Laocoon. [Laocoon warned his fellow Trojans against the wooden horse presented to the city by the Greeks.
He told them that it was a military trick by Odysseus. Soon two large sea serpents came out from the sea where Laocoon and his sons were presenting a sacrifice to Poseidon. They strangled him and his sons.
The famous statue was made by the Rhodian sculptors Hegesandros, Athenedoros and Polydoros around 175-150 BC. Now it is in the Vatican museums].
I was much disturbed by this image, probably because of my mother's story about the boa.
I remember that at the time of the internment my cousin Fani Aronova and I took one of the most beautiful flowerpots and gave it to our teacher as a memory from us.
She said nothing. She had progressive [i.e. leftist] ideas. But one day when I was in the fifth high school grade (I was in the UYW [Union of Young Workers] leadership of the high school), we disseminated leaflet throughout the school.
She was deputy headmaster and she got very angry and started looking for the people who did it. I did not know if she found out that we did it or not, but she did not catch us.