Mark Golub's aunt, Riva Petrenko, and her husband, Pavel Petrenko

Mark Golub's aunt, Riva Petrenko, and 
her husband, Pavel Petrenko
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  • Photo taken in:
    Karlovy Vary
    Year when photo was taken:
    1958
    Country name at time of photo:
    Czechoslovakia, 1945-1989
    Country name today:
    Czech Republic
My Aunt Riva Petrenko and her husband Admiral Pavel Petrenko during a vacation in Karlovy Vary in 1958. Riva was born in 1907. After graduating from secondary school she enrolled in the Financial Faculty of the Kiev Institute of Public Economy and graduated in 1930. She met Pavlo Petrenko, a Ukrainian, at the Institute. He was a student in the Sugar Industry Faculty. They soon married. Upon graduation Pavel got a job at a sugar factory and Riva at a bank in Kharkov. My grandmother and grandfather didn't hear about their marriage. I don't think they would have accepted Riva's marriage to a man of a different faith. Other relatives knew about their mixed marriage and they accepted it. The times and attitudes had changed. As a party member, Pavel was sent to study at the Academy. He got a job assignment with the Pacific Navy. Riva followed him. She got a job at a bank and made a career of it. She became Director of Fish Industry Crediting. After my father was arrested [in 1937 on false charges of espionnage], Riva decided to visit him at the prison camp. It was a heroic decision that presented a risk to her career and even to her and Pavel's lives. However, everything turned out for the best. While she was away the bank management was arrested. Riva would have been arrested, too, if she hadn't stayed away from Vladivostok. She didn't return to Vladivostok. Pavel was transferred to the Chemical Weapons Department of the Naval Ministry in Moscow. He received a room in a communal apartment. Riva got a job at the bank. From the beginning of the war Pavel served at the Baltic Navy and Riva evacuated to Aktyubinsk in 1941. After the Aviation Institute evacuated to Charjou she got a job as an accountant at the canteen there. She returned to Moscow before the Institute was reevacuated. Pavel made a successful career and was promoted to rear admiral and head of the Navy Chemical Department. Riva died in 1997, a few years after Pavel. She was an imperious and capable woman. She was devoted to her family, helping and supporting her parents. In the last years of her parents' life she promised to visit them in Kiev each year and she kept her promise.

Interview details

Interviewee: Mark Golub
Interviewer:
Ella Levitskaya
Month of interview:
June
Year of interview:
2002
Kiev, Ukraine

KEY PERSON

Riva Petrenko
Year of birth:
1907
City of birth:
Ladyzhin, Podolsk province
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Year of death:
1997
City of death:
Moscow
Country of death:
Russia
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Manager
after WW II:
Manager
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Golub
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1930

Other Person

Pavel Petrenko
Jewish name:
Riva
Decade of birth:
1900
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Year of death:
1980
City of death:
Moscow
Country of death:
Russia
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Manual laborer
after WW II:
Military

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