Photo taken in:MoscowYear when photo was taken:2004Country name at time of photo:RussiaCountry name today:Russia
This is me. The picture was taken for a photograph stand for the Council of the Jewish Veterans of War. The picture was taken in Moscow in December 2004. There are the following medals on my jacket. From top to bottom: badge of a graduate of the Moscow Teachers' Training Institute, two Orders of the Great Patriotic War of the 1st and 2nd Class. The Order of the 1st Class was given on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the victory over Germany, and the order of the 2nd Class was given to me when I was in the lines. There are also a Red Star order, a Medal for the Defense of Stalingrad, a Medal for the Victory over Germany. There is a badge on the lapel of my jacket for ?A Distinguished Member of Workers' and Peasants' Red Army.? The medals in the bottom row and on the right side of the jacket are devoted to the Victory anniversaries and jubilee dates of the Soviet Army. Jewish life began to revive after perestroika. In 1987, two Jewish officers, the colonels Sokol and Goldsberg, acquired permission in the central committee of the Communist Party to open a Jewish library in Moscow. At first, that library was housed in Sokol's apartment as they couldn't find any other premise for it. It was the first step, and then the Jewish Cultural Center was founded in Moscow. The all-Russian society of the Jewish veterans of war and ghetto prisoners was established by that center. Then our council of the Jewish War Veterans was founded. Since the foundation of the council I have been the executive secretary. I didn't become religious. I have always been an atheist and cannot believe in the existence of God. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm too old to change my views. I started respecting Judaism in 1991. The breakup of the USSR was preceded by a putsch, accompanied by the barricades outside, crowds of people standing up for their right to live in a democratic country. During the putsch three young lads died under caterpillars of the tanks, brought to Moscow. One of them was a Jew, a 27-year-old guy called Ilia Krichevskiy. Those who perished on the 24th August were buried with honors in Vagankovksoye cemetery in Moscow. The three of them were posthumously recognized as Heroes of the Soviet Union.