Grigory Gendler’s son and his wife

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    St. Petersburg
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This photograph of my son Semen and his wife was taken in St. Petersburg in 2003.

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).

My son Semen was born in 1950. He entered the College of Mines (evening faculty of thermophysics). At the same time he worked as a selector of stones. He studied perfectly and was transferred to the day time faculty. He graduated and passed through the kandidat nauk exams (under my pressure).

But he refused to enter the postgraduate course: he learned his lesson during the entrance examinations, when they did not permit him to become a day time student. I guess it happened because of his nationality. Later he managed to become kandidat nauk and later a professor. At present he works at the Gorny College as a teacher.

In 1949 I graduated from the College and was assigned to Pushkin (to Radio-locating School), where I taught political economy for five years. Then I was transferred to the Leningrad advanced training courses for political workers of tank armies.

There I taught political economy and other subjects for about ten years. Then the courses were liquidated. I decided to defend my kandidat nauk dissertation. I did it at my former Military Pedagogical College in 1956.

My topic was Forms of Wages in the Industry of the USSR. When I tried to become a postgraduate student (in 1949), I was explained that people of my nationality could not become postgraduate students.

My former co-worker became a faculty head at the Military Academy named after Mozhaysky. He invited me to teach political economy at his Academy. For that purpose it was necessary to be demobilized urgently. I managed.

At that time I was 35 years old. They gave me a small retiring pension (my time-in-service was 23 years, including years of war counted 1 for 3). So I came to the Academy as a civilian person. And later (as you know) I defended my kandidat nauk dissertation in 1956.

At the Academy I worked 17 years, everybody was nice to me. There I became an assistant professor, then full professor (I got a doctor's degree). Lieutenant-general Vassilyev, the Academy chief did not hate Jews. He used to send me on business trips to different secret establishments, entrusted me with secret research topics. I wrote books and articles.

When I brought my doctor's certificate to Vassilyev, he suggested me to move to a new apartment (from our communal one). That was the 1st separate apartment in our life (it happened in 1980). Later (when my children grew up and got their own families) I aimed at buying a large cooperative apartment.

I managed and we moved to that new apartment together with my wife and the family of my daughter.

My daughter married a Jew, and my son's wife is Russian. His wife did not change her Russian surname and my granddaughter's nationality is registered Russian. My granddaughter is a gynecologist; she works in a maternity hospital.

Interview details

Interviewee: Grigory Gendler
Vera Postavinskaya
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Year of interview:
St. Petersburg, Russia


Semen Gendler
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