Grigory Gendler

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This photograph was taken in Leningrad in 1947. Here, I was a student of the Military Pedagogical College.

I served in Germany till November 1945. And then there came an order to send soldiers for studies at the Leningrad Military Pedagogical College named after Kalinin.

Here an episode came to my mind. After liberation of Chertkov we also received a similar order and the chief of our political department offered to send me, because I wanted to study and was at war from the very beginning.

I went to the front staff to collect documents, but the political department asked me to wait for their decision. 20 minutes later they informed me that they did not permit me to leave for studies and ordered to get back to my military unit.

I did not ask about the reason, because I had nothing against military career. Later I got to know that there was an order not to permit Jews - political workers to leave front lines. I guess it was a manifestation of anti-Semitism.

So I got a permission to study in Leningrad only in November 1945. It was possible to choose a faculty. When I arrived in Leningrad, they took into consideration my pre-war study at the Moscow College of Philosophy, History and Literature named after Chernyshevsky.

Therefore I became a student of the 2nd course (economic faculty) without entrance exams. That college prepared teachers of social sciences, philosophy, political economy, etc for military academies. By the way, at the end of the 1950s that college was liquidated.

Major-general Afanassyev was the college chief. He was present at my interview and liked my answers. It was him who made the decision to invite me to the 2nd course, but at that moment the personnel manager asked me about my subjected to repression uncle.

I flew into a passion, and Afanassyev said 'Stop bothering the front-line soldier!' So I became a student and graduated with honors in 1949. At the College I was promoted to the rank of major. In 1947 (being a student) I got married.

My friend Vigdorchik Boris (he also arrived from Germany) acquainted me with my future wife. He married a beautiful girl Mipha and introduced me to her friend. It happened at the dancing session (at the Marble Hall of the Palace of Culture named after Kirov).

I started courting her. Her name was Rebecca Mironovna Slavina. She was born in 1925. She studied at the Pediatric College. Later I was introduced to her parents and they agreed to our marrying. By that time my parents returned from evacuation and agreed, too. I visited them in Moscow several times before marriage.

Having arrived from Germany, I visited my parents first of all. Before my departure from Germany I visited them in June of 1945: I got a leave for the victory in shooting (TT pistol) competition. Parents lived in the same room, wherefrom I was called up for military service (near the hotel UKRAINE).

Interview details

Interviewee: Grigory Gendler
Vera Postavinskaya
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St. Petersburg, Russia


Grigory Gendler
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