Vladimir Tseitlin

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The picture was made in Moscow on the 9th of May, 2001 in the presidium of the Council of Jewish War Veterans. The citizen of Israel (unfortunately, I do not remember his name), the member of Israeli WW2 Veteran Community is giving me a badge. I am to the left.

In 1956 after graduation the Moscow Artillery Academ there was a mandatory job assignment. Nationality was also considered and Jews were not assigned to good position. They wanted me to teach at high artillery school, but I was sent to scientific and research training area. Though, I do not regret that I happened to be there as the work was very challenging for me. I defended a thesis there and became a doctor of the technical science, acquired the status of the senior scientific employee - equal to the assistant professor in the educational institutions. I was a lieutenant colonel and later I became a colonel. We tested new arms on the training area. It was produced at Moscow military plants. Nudelman, a Jew, twice the Hero of the Soviet Union, a famous weapon designer, the head of design bureau of precision industry, came to test weapons. We met him. I was on frequent business trips in Moscow and took an active part in their elaborations. Nudelman suggested that I should be demobilized from the army and join his team in the design bureau. It was hard for me to get demobilized, as the general, commander of the training area, was against it. The medical board recognized me unfit for the military service in the civil times due to the consequences of my battle injuries. Thus, I had the grounds to get demobilized.

In the period of 1972-1990 I had worked in the design bureau of precision industry being involved in elaboration of new weaponry. We had an excellent team. There was an intelligentsia. There were 90% of Jews. It was a strategic military enterprise. Even in the full swing of anti-Semitism Nudelman was entitled to offer job to anybody he wished no matter what nationality they were. He picked gifted designers, Jews, who were fired from other organizations. There was such an excellent team, that Nudelman's design bureau provided several samples of the arms annually, meanwhile it took 5 years to elaborate one pattern at other enterprises. Nudelman said when he turned 85 he was suggested that he should be conferred the title the Hero of the Soviet Union once again. Everybody agreed to it, he became twice hero of the Soviet Union.

I retired in 1990, when my sons were independent. Then my wife and I decided to catch up with the missed opportunities during the period of my hard work. We started spending a lot of time together, going on vacations. We usually went to the leg treatment spas as my battle injury was constantly speaking for itself. In 1985 my wife and I went on voyage tour round the world.

Of course, I identify myself as Jew, but I do not know Jewish traditions. I do not feel humiliated for being a Jew nee, just the other way around I am proud of being a part of such an ancient and talented nation. Now I am taking an active part in Jewish life in Russia. I am deputy chairman of Moscow Council of Jewish War Veterans. In the post-war period there were rumors that Jews were not in the lines, just holing up in the rear. Council of Jewish War Veterans was founded in order to exterminate those rumors. I am involved in the work of the council after having retired. We are in the middle of writing a book where all Jews, who fought in WW2, are enumerated as well as those who are reported missing. The book is called ’Commemoration Book of the Jews, Killed in Action against Nazi.

1941-1946’. I think it is the duty of those who survived to commemorate those who perished. There are a lot of donations for this commemoration book.
People are willing to contribute. The book is circulated throughout the world. This is a commemoration book of the whole Jewish peoples. I think that it is a necessary and a great action.

Interview details

Interviewee: Vladimir Tseitlin
Svetlana Bogdanova
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Moscow, Russia


Vladimir Tseitlin
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before WW II:
Professional gunner
after WW II:
Head of the group of elaborators, design bureau and precision industry

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