Lev Drobyazko's uncle, mother's brother Yosif Vaisblat.

Lev Drobyazko's uncle, mother's brother Yosif Vaisblat.
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My Uncle Yosif Vaisblat, my mother's brother. He was born in 1897 in Malin. The photo was taken in 1958. Uncle Yosif was born in 1897, and in 1920 or 1922 he graduated from the arts college with honors. He thus 'broke the tradition' of Nukhim's children, most of whom became either dentists or doctors. His older brothers did not like such behavior from a younger brother, and tried so hard to exert their influence on Yosif, that he had to leave his family and Kiev in 1922 and go to Moscow to pursue his vocational interest. In Moscow Yosif graduated from the Artistic Institute. Prior to the war he was a famous Soviet artist, who had his own studio in Moscow and exhibitions almost every year. From 1941 through 1945 he lived in Kuibyshev, working as an artist and teaching several children's and youths? arts clubs. After the war he returned to Moscow and then to Kiev, but in 1950 he was sent to the GULAG. We still have no idea what he was arrested for. Probably, for a bad joke. According to the article, in keeping with which he was condemned, he had to serve a sentence of ten years hard labor in Kolyma (East of Russia). Fortunately, he spent only five years there, because times had changed and he was released in 1956, not after rehabilitation, but for the then customary definition - 'for health reasons'. From 1958 he lived outside Moscow, working as a painter. He even married. During the day he was a happy man who smiled a lot. Only his relatives knew that at night he either could not sleep, or cried in his sleep. He lived to the age of 82, and if not for the camp, he would probably have lived much longer. He had no children.

Interview details

Interviewee: Lev Drobyazko
Tatyana Chaika
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Kiev, Ukraine


Yosif Vaisblat
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after WW II
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