Meyer Markhasin on a vacation in Borovichi

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  • Photo taken in:
    Borovichi
    Year when photo was taken:
    1938
    Country name at time of photo:
    Soviet Union
    Country name today:
    Russia

On this amateur snapshot I am on a vacation in Borovichi. I liked to ride my bicycle when I came to visit my parents in summer. First we lived in Malaya Vishera in the Leningrad region. Then I began to file in petitions to allow me to study. For that purpose I went to Moscow and took a letter to Kalinin [state and political figure, nearest coworker of Stalin], to the public prosecutor, but nothing helped. Everyone threatened to arrest me, if I continued to pester them with such requests. At the same time father went to Borovichi, it was formerly the Leningrad region, now - Novgorod region. There he agreed with one family and rented a room for me and arranged for me to work at the factory "The Red Ceramics" as a simple worker. I worked there as a stamp operator. Not long afterwards Stalin mentioned somewhere in a congress or a party conference that "son was not responsible for father". In 1937 I entered the 4th year of a rabfak [a special educational institution for workers], finished it and returned to Leningrad. Once there, I passed an examination and in 1937 entered the Institute of Technology named after Molotov. I studied for 4 years there.

I entered the 1styear of the institute, and on vacations visited my parents in Borovichi, where I got acquainted with a Russian girl Zoya Solomonova. It turned out that this girl had just finished the tenth form and tried to enter a medical institute, but failed to pass through in the contest and finally entered our institute, the faculty of building materials, so she appeared to be my fellow student. When my sisters disclosed to my parents, that I was courting her, and I was on a vacation to Borovichi, father told me, that I should tear off any relations with her, because I was a Jew, and she - a Russian, and it was against our national tradition. He even fell down on his knees before me, begging me almost with tears in his eyes. That scene touched me so much that I broke off with her. In summer in Borovichi I didn't communicate with her. In this time my parents became soviet people and stopped to keep traditions.

Then I came to Leningrad to proceed in my second year in the institute, and Zoya was in her first. Once I was walking along Nevsky Avenue. And she had a friend, Gurevich Masha, so I came across the two of them, it was in late autumn. They came up to me, involuntarily we started talking again, and as a result my infatuation for her continued. It was already in 1938. We were friends. My parents certainly did not know it. In 1940 it passed on to closer relations. We lived in a student's hostel.

Interview details

Interviewee: Meyer Markhasin
Interviewer:
Bella Shevchuk
Month of interview:
June
Year of interview:
2002
St. Petersburg, Russia

KEY PERSON

Meyer Markhasin
Jewish name:
Yuri
Year of birth:
1917
City of birth:
Gomel
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Occupation
after WW II:
Chief mechanical engineer

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