I’ve heard stories about World War II since my childhood. So during the project, I decided to learn more about my ancestors in those trying times. I am going to start with the stories of my grandmother Svitlana Pylypivna about her parents. My mother is a history teacher, and the issues of historical memory and the history of Odessa during WWII are of particular interests to her. Therefore she helped me voice the video and process it.
Oleksii Sydorov was born in 1920. Until the beginning of World War II served in the Soviet Army in the Navy since 1938. At the beginning of the war he was called up for service in the navy. He was seriously injured and then sent to the Hot Key Hospital. At this, my great-grandfather’s participation in the war ended. He returned to his hometown of Baku in Azerbaijan.
I’m sharing a story that helped me improve my relationship with my grandfather. This story is about how failure can become a blessing if you want that.
This story is about our father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who took part in the most fierce battles of the German-Soviet war. The events of the 1940s affected him so much that the victory he won together with millions of other soldiers, did not become a matter of pride, but rather something that he preferred to forget. Our grandfather hardly ever mentioned any details, the details of those terrible times, but what he did tell has remained in the memory of his children, including my grandmother (his daughter), my mother, my uncle, and in my personal memories. Together we have conducted our family research and put together all the information provided by our great-grandfather. The text has been voiced-over by my mother as one of the bearers of our family history!
This is the story of a Russian girl who remembers famine and Soviet collective farms and was able to survive by finding salvation in Ukraine. This is about my grandmother, who is of Russian nationality. Starting from her birth in 1943, she spent her childhood in Soviet Russia. Her most painful memories apart from the ones described in this interview are the memories of the famine in her grandmother’s family. They lived in a small house (as a child I visited it and I can remember it). My grandmother, Raisa Tokarevych, lived with her mother, father, grandmother, an aunt, and a brother. She remembers her mother swelling up with hunger, her brother Tolya being on the verge of dying, her father (a teacher and the head of the collective farm) having been wounded during the war. My grandmother told me how she took turns with her brother to prepare their homework sitting at a small table and using the only candle. However, despite the constant misery she still tried to do something that brought her spiritual joy and inspiration. She used to embroider the on the stove in low light keeping out of her father’s eyes. These paintings are our pride today. Grandma’s life was not easy. Listen to her interview and you’ll find sincere emotions and memories of my family history.
The history of my family reflects life in a totalitarian regime. All that my great grandfather and great-grandmother went through shows and demonstrates the lack of respect for a human being, invasion of privacy and persecution, violates morality, human rights and freedoms. That is why, under the Soviet rule, millions of people were subjected to the arbitrariness of the totalitarian state, and many were never able to reunite with their families.
Life story of a political prisoner of the Soviet totalitarian regime, who passed through 10 years of prison labour camps.