Vladimir Tseitlin and his wife Larisa Goncharova

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  • Photo taken in:
    London
    Year when photo was taken:
    1935
    Country name at time of photo:
    England
    Country name today:
    England

This is me and my wife Larisa Goncharova in 1985 during our voyage tour over Europe.

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 got married in 1946. My wife Larissa Goncharova in 1925. Larissa is Russian. Her father is Alexander Goncharov and her mother is Rozalia Goncharova. Larissa was the only child in the family. When we met, she studied at medical school. She quitted studies after getting married. In 1947 our son Sergey was born. The second son Igor was born in 1954. Larissa followed me no matter where we went, sharing adversities and inconveniences of the professional officer. Of course, her life was not easy. She had 2 children. I was constantly busy with studies and work and could not help her with anything. My wife was strong enough to stand fast without involving me in everyday problems.

It was mostly my wife who was raising children. I did not have that much spare time, but I tried to spend it with my wife and children. Even in summer my family often went on vacation without me. We marked birthdays of all family members at home. We also celebrated New Year's Day and Soviet holidays - 1st of May, 7th of November, Soviet Army day, Victory day.

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.

Interview details

Interviewee: Vladimir Tseitlin
Interviewer:
Svetlana Bogdanova
Month of interview:
October
Year of interview:
2004
Moscow, Russia

KEY PERSON

Vladimir Tseitlin
Year of birth:
1923
Decade of birth:
1900
City of birth:
Moscow
Country name at time of birth:
USSR
Occupation
before WW II:
Professional gunner
after WW II:
Head of the group of elaborators, design bureau and precision industry

Other Person

Larisa Goncharova
Year of birth:
1925
Decade of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Georgievsk
Country name at time of birth:
USSR
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife
after WW II:
Housewife

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