Alexander Ugolev and his father Haim Ugolev

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Here you can see me with my father Haim Ugolev. The photograph was taken in Leningrad in spring 1938. I put on this shirt, which had been sewed for me by my mum. Daddy was going to leave soon for the army camp. We carefully prepared for this session and put on brand-new suits, but I forgot to polish my boots. I was ten years old, and my Daddy was 35. This photo was taken in 1938, soon after the death of my mum, Pessya Ugoleva. She died while giving birth to my sister Polina, named in honor of my mum.

In some months after my mother’s death another woman appeared in our house. She had to take the place of our mother. My stepmother, Galina Baranova, appeared in the following way: We were acquainted with Boris Abramov. He had an unmarried sister of 28 years of age. At that time Boris was a manager at the municipal training center, and my father was his subordinate at the Lenin branch on Ogorodnikova Avenue. So Baranov ‘pushed’ his sister to become my father’s secretary – he told her that my father was a widower. She was an old maid – lived in a room together with her brother – and my father had a self-contained apartment and he was young – 38 years old.

After my sister was brought from the hospital, I was lost in thoughts: how to call my stepmother? I was eleven at that time. Certainly I could call her Aunt Galya or Galina Petrovna. But by that time they brought home my younger sister, a baby who didn’t know yet that her mum had gone and that her daddy had a new wife. I spent a sleepless night and decided that is was necessary ‘to bring myself to perform a deed.’ There appeared a child, who didn’t know who is who; but she had a father and a brother, so she had to have a mother. That’s why from then on I started calling my stepmother ‘Mum.’ I asked no advice and decided it on my own. It means that my parents brought me up well.

Interview details

Interviewee: Alexander Ugolev
Nadezhda Lipovskaya
Month of interview:
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St. Petersburg , Russia


Alexander Ugolev
Jewish name:
Year of birth:
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Soviet Union
after WW II:
Designer of Navy armament

Other Person

Haim Ugolev
Year of birth:
City of birth:
Komarovka of Mogilev region
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Year of death:
City of death:
Koptsy village, Novgorod region
Country of death:
Died where:
Koptsy village, Novgorod region
before WW II:
Editor-in-chief, Communist Party representative at Leningrad military district headquarters

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