A notebook with Aron Breido’s household chemical composition formulas

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My sister Ada wrote down the household chemical compositions' formulas, which father dictated to her, into such small notebooks.

Father worked at the Leningrad Industrial Combine and combined this with other jobs, simultaneously working at other places, consulting and setting up business.

When the war broke out, he worked in Novaya Derevnya and on Suvorovsky prospect. They produced cleansers for wood and metal, ski ointment, waterproof hunters ointment, photoelectric cells, sealing wax, ink, stamp ink, all of it was required on the frontline.

It was difficult to get raw materials in besieged Leningrad; father knew cellars where the craftsmen kept useful materials, so workshops were set up closer to those material storages and thus it was possible to supply the frontline.

Father was busy with this work during the blockade, when he was not in hospital with exacerbation of tuberculosis and was able to plod somewhere. The work he did was hard even for a physically healthy man.

A cauldron with mastic, shoe polish or ski ointment weighed no less than 80 kilograms. It was very difficult to stir this thick hot paste, having practically one lung. Besides, it is also harmful to compose chemical compounds and dyes.

Twice he was brought on a sleigh from Novaya Derevnya through the whole city, because he collapsed right in the street. I remember my last conversation with grandfather Khaim, when we spoke about father. It happened in 1942; grandfather sat close the "burzhuika", the small stove and was warming his hands.

He said: "People can be divided into three categories: in the first are those for whom what is mine is mine, but what is yours is also mine; in the second category are those for whom what is mine is mine and what is yours is yours; and finally, most generous and reliable are those for whom what is yours is yours and what is mine is also yours. Your father belongs to this last category".

Interview details

Interviewee: Susanna Breido
Lyudmila Lyuban
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St. Petersburg, Russia


Aron Breido
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St. Petersburg
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before WW II:

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