Photo taken in:Molotov (now Perm)Year when photo was taken:1942Country name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Russia
This is the house in Perm (formerly Molotov), where the family of my husband lived during the Great Patriotic War. Actors of Mariinsky Theatre were evacuated there from Leningrad.
The biography of my husband, as he puts it, is very "striped". He was born in Leningrad in 1931 - his father Zakhar Nikolaevich Matsin (Zakhary Nisonov) turned 54 then. My husband's entire childhood was connected with theatre. When he was very small, his father - a graduate of the Saint Petersburg conservatory, took him to Mariinsky theatre, behind the scenes, and the first ballet that he saw was "The Nutcracker ". Later, during the war, in Perm, where the actors of Mariinsky theatre were evacuated, Yuri, as a boy, performed in children chorus of the theatre, sang in " The Queen of Spades " and in many other performances. At the end of the war he entered a choreographic school, but, unfortunately, or - fortunately, he felt that he had no calling for that profession, and shifted to a comprehensive school, after ending of which entered the Leningrad Institute of Construction Engineering. From the first year in the institute he was taken to the army - where he served four years in the Fleet. Then he graduated from LISI and became a mechanical engineer. And the life of an ordinary Soviet Jew with all the following consequences began.
He had encountered manifestations of anti-Semitism in the army, where he served in the most difficult years: from 1951 to 1954. He was the secretary of Komsomol organization of the ship, very active. And, from his words, the Deputy Commander on political education put much pressure on him, especially in 1954, when Yuri, being "a Komsomol figure", wanted to join the Communist Party. The Deputy Commander assured Yuri that he is never going to become a party member … And it was clear that reason was "a wrong nationality". A year earlier, when the so-called "Doctors' affair" emerged, the sailors on the ship started to sing all sorts of anti-Semitic songs. Yuri expressed his discontent to the Deputy Commander, but the answer was that the guys were just fooling around, and no measures at all were taken.