Photo taken in:MoscowYear when photo was taken:1941Country name at time of photo:Soviet UnionCountry name today:Russia
The picture was made in early June 1941 in Moscow, shortly after my service in the army. This is our family picture. In the top row from left to right: sister's husband Jacob Itskovich, my wife Tatiana Tsessarskaya and me. In the bottom row is my sister Alexandra Itskovich, her son Vladimir Itskovich and our mother Esfir Tsessarskaya.
In 1937 I finished school and I wanted to enter theatrical institute. But I was advised not to do that as I ought to acquire a serious profession so that theatre would be just a hobby. I decided to go to Moscow and enter IFLI (Institute of Philosophy and Literature). I dreamt to become a writer. I passed exams, walked around the institute and was dawned that I it was not something that I needed. I had my documents on me. I thought that I should be closer to people and entered the 2nd Medical Institute, Therapeutic Department. We had a wonderful team of teachers at the institute. I was very fond of histology, the science of cells. Our teachers were great experts, professionals.
Sister lived in Moscow before I came there. Se got married in Odessa. Her husband Jacob Itskovich got a mandatory job assignment to Biysk, where he worked as a chief engineer of cold storage facility. Then he was transferred to Moscow and worked as a chief engineer of the ministry of food industry. He was a talented person. He designed and later was the head of cold-storage facility, which is still there.
I met my wife-to-be at the institute. Her name was Tatiana Triodina. . Both of us joined scientific circle of histology. I recall when I was in the 3rd year, we were sitting at one desk in the library and reading books. The librarian came up to us with a carnation in a glass and put it between us. How could she see that we were in love with each other? It must have been noticeable. On the 9th of May 1941 we got married. I was well accepted in Tanya's family. It was a wonderful intellectual family. I loved my wife's parents.
I remember the outbreak of war. I was on my way to the hostel from my sister's place. I saw window wide open and heard people crying: "Notification of the government!" and put their wireless sets on the window sills. I was listening to Molotov's speech when I was in the street: "War". I dashed to the hostel, where military enlistment office was located. I came to the office I was indicated. They browsed through the list, found my name and asked whether I had not changed my mind. Then I went next door. There was a pretty lieutenant woman. There was a note book in front of her. She asked my first name, patronymic and last name and put all that data in her notebook. Then I said: «Well. What is next?» I was waiting for some interview. «Nothing, doctor, you are included in the USSR NKVD squad of special purpose.» I asked what special purpose implied. She said she had no idea. «You would go where they tell you. Your squad would be formed in couple of days on Dinamo stadium. Come there at certain time». That’s it. People from that squad were included in reconnaissance and diverstion partisan groups and squads. The camp of our squads was on the shootng range of Dinamo stadium out of Moscow. Soon I was allowed to go and take final exams. I lived with my wife in the hostel for a while. The exams were taken perfunctory. The war was in full swing, and people were worried with other things. That was the way my military life had started. Wife was not mobilized, though she also filed her request to be drafted in the squad where I was to serve. In 2 days, she was expelled as they thought that husband and wife should not serve together. Tatiana was very upset about it.
Before war mother came to Moscow from Odessa and lived with my sister. Soon she and her sister were evacuated in Kazan and father stayed in Odessa. Right on the eve of occupation his neighbors took him to Middle Asia.