Students of the Naval School named after Frunze

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  • Photo taken in:
    Leningard
    Country name at time of photo:
    USSR
    Country name today:
    Russia

This is a photograph of my comrades sitting from left to right: Markin Eugeny (he died already); Lesman Boris; Pautov Nikolay (he lives in Petrodvorets); Alexander Zaharov (he died).

Standing from left to right: Baboshin Eugeny (died); Chernov Yury (died); Novimzon Abram (he lives in Haifa). The photo was taken in the Naval School named after Frunze on the 9th of May (the Victory Day) in 1970s.
I do not remember who took it.

Abram Novinzon was a Jew. We served together on the Black sea (in Kerch), later he served in Vladivostok, and I went to Kamchatka, and we met in Vladivostok several times.

After we moved to Leningrad, he visited me million times. Together with Eugeny Baboshin they came to my place every year on my birthday during 20 or 30 years.
Eugeny Baboshin is handicapped: he lost his leg at the front.

Yury Chernov was our writer. He died in Moscow. He was a member of Association of Writers: he managed to graduate from the Literary College in Moscow after retirement in the rank of captain.

On June 14, 1941 I finished my school, on June 22 we were going to hold a meeting in celebration of it, but that day the war burst out.
They cancelled our banquet, gave us urgently our certificates, and that was all.

Approximately for a week I stayed in Kerch and Komsomol leaders appointed me to be a company commander.

We participated in patroling the city streets (2 or 3 men together). And a week later I left for Leningrad. Here I entered the Naval School named after Frunze. I sent there my document beforehand, in 1940.

That School celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2001 (it is older, than St. Petersburg itself, because it was created in 1701, and St. Petersburg - in 1703). According to the decree of the President Eltsin it was renamed Naval College of Peter the Great.

I entered the Naval School on July 3, as soon as I arrived from Kerch, and in August I was already at the front, here in Leningrad. I was a machine gunner (they changed our cloths for infantry uniform).

At the end of September they brought us back to Leningrad and changed our uniform for naval one. We starved in blockade for three months, till December 9. On December 9, 1941 we were brought to Ladoga Lake [39 km far from St. Petersburg].

The Lake was already ice-bound, and 1 day and a half we went on foot across the Ladoga Lake to Kobona. [Kobona is a settlement on the east coast of the Ladoga Lake, where they accepted people evacuated from the besieged Leningrad.] And we happened to loose our way at night walking through the 'ice desert' and went towards German positions. We were lucky to be noticed and set on the right way by ski patrols of the Road of Life.

We walked about 50 km across the Ladoga Lake: it was terribly windy and frosty. On my left there walked Sergey Akhromeev (later he became a USSR Marshal and a Hero of the Soviet Union), and on my right - Evgeniy Markin. All of us were cold and lousy, because we had no opportunity to wash. We suffered from starvation!

During the hardest period of the siege people received 125 grammes of bread per day, and we got 250 gr. From Kobona we went on foot to Tikhvin. [Tikhvin is a city 140 km far from the Ladoga Lake; front line went across Tikhvin.]
At that time Tikhvin was recaptured and was full of corpses: both German and Soviet.

We were told to take away corpses. They promised to give us supplementary ration for it. We did it and received half-pack of porridge concentrate and two small bits of sugar each. In Tikhvin we got into the train and moved to Astrakhan:
our School had been already evacuated there. [Astrakhan is a city in the Delta of the Volga River.]

Interview details

Interviewee: Boris Lesman
Interviewer:
Anna Shubaeva
Month of interview:
2005
Year of interview:
August

KEY PERSON

Boris Lesman
Year of birth:
1923
Decade of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Kerch
Country name at time of birth:
USSR
Occupation
after WW II:
Military

Other Person

Abram Novinzon
Year of birth:
1922
Decade of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Moscow
Country name at time of birth:
USSR
Occupation
after WW II:
Military

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