Boris Lesman

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I do not remember who took this photo of mine. I guess it happened in Chapaevsk in 1945.

Here I wear a jacket with high collar and a hanger. Seamen were always rich: we had 8 variants of uniform.

no.1 - white trousers, white jacket with high collar and white cap;
no.2 - black trousers, white jacket with high collar;
no.3 - black trousers, black jacket with high collar and black cap;
no.4 - the same with pea-jacket;
no.5 - the same with overcoat and sailor's cap or uniform cap;
no.6 - the same with fur-cap;
no.7 - the same with tied up fur-cap;
no.8 - the same with a sheepskin.

Before war my father worked as a civilian legal adviser at a military training ground, which was based near Kerch. As my father was not subject to call because of his disease, in 1941 he together with his wife and child was evacuated to Chapaevsk of Kuybyshev region. [Kuybyshev is a city in Urals, Samara at present.]

It was my first wound. I have got to Stalingrad front. By that time Paulus troops had already been encircled, but not taken yet. So I was moving to the south by train. I was lying on the upper berth (my wound still bothered me). Three officers were sitting below: two lieutenants and one junior lieutenant. They were talking, suddenly I looked at that junior lieutenant … and understood that I knew him! 'Konstantin Vassilyevich! Hi!' He looked at me. I said 'Konstantin Vassilyevich, don't you recognize me? You are my teacher of physics, and I am Lesman …' - 'Oh, Boris!' We embraced …

He was a junior lieutenant. He said 'Boris, where are you going?' - 'To our headquarters.' - 'Listen, come with me, to our army. We will be there together.' - 'But can it cause any troubles for me?' - 'No, you will go to the front line, not to back areas!' - 'Where shall we go? To the front headquarters?' - 'No, it is not necessary! We will go directly to the army headquarters.' And so we arrived there. They asked me 'Do you want to serve in our army?' - 'Yes, I do.' - 'Good. What position did you occupy before you were wounded?' - 'I was a company commander.' - 'Good.' And I found myself in the rifle division no. 302 as a company commander.

Thanks to my teacher I became one of them through and through. We liberated half of Ukraine, when Germans managed to defeat our division, and we were taken off from the front line and sent to Voronezh region, to heartland (it happened in July). [Voronezh is a city in the Central Russia, 500 km far from Moscow.]

There we got new weapon, new soldiers, because we had lost many people. And I was appointed a battalion commander (about thousand people). And you remember that I was a twenty-years-old senior lieutenant! Two fourty-years-old captains and several senior lieutenants much older than me were subordinate to me. I fought for my country very well.

From Voronezh region we were transferred to Ukraine, where I was wounded badly for the last time: for about seven months I have been treated in hospital in Kuybyshev.

In 1945 I got to know that Dora Isaacovna, my stepmother, the second wife of my father died. When I got to know about it, I was urgently granted leave of absence and went to my father in Chapaevsk. I spent at him one week in February 1945.

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Interviewee: Boris Lesman
Anna Shubaeva
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Boris Lesman
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