Gaukhar’s Grandpa and family were repressed as kulaks

    I want to tell you about my grandpa. His name is Zait. My grandpa was born in 1921 in Mangistay, the west of Kazakhstan near Caspian sea. His father was a respectable, rich man and had 3 children. In 1930-1932 in Kazakhstan and other Soviet republics started the process called dispossession of the kulaks. Kulaks were people who were not poor and who had any property. Everything was confiscated from land to cattle, everything that was earned by hard work. Moreover all kulaks and their families became the subjects of repressions. The family of my grandpa could be repressed too, so my great grandfather decided to leave all and to put to flight from the country with his family: wife and three sons. They ran to Russia and this road was very difficult.

During their escape my great grandfather died because of infarction. So great grandma and children were left without the head of the family, but they had to continue their flight. Fortunately grandpa, his brothers and mom still achieved the point of destination- Russia. They settled in Orenburg city. At this period my grandpa was only 12 years old, his younger brother was 10 years old and elder brother was 17. My grandpa at the age of 12 decided himself to stay in Orenburg’s orphan’s home with his younger brother. He made this decision in order to help his family to survive, because it would be very hard for his mother to keep three children. Great grandma was opposed to his 12 years old son’s decision, she didn’t want to leave her children in the orphan’s home, however she had to agree because it was the only way to survive. My great grand mother lived with the elder son in Orenburg and always visited her younger sons. She soon realized that the orphan’s home was very good; there her children received good education. My grandpa was taught how to play on a great variety of musical instruments and developed his musical talent. In 1941 my grandpa at the age of 20 and his brothers were called for army because the Great Patriotic War started.

    During the War grandpa received a lot of different medals, orders, ribbons and other awards of honor and bravery. In 1943 he and his battalion were encircled by enemies and taken to captivity. The whole battalion was sent to Italy. There grandpa was held in concentration camp till the end of the War. In 1945 my grandpa was released and sent back to Russia.

After all he finally returned to his mother, his elder brother returned from the war too. But the younger brother of my grandpa was missing in action during the Great Patriotic War. Grandpa was trying to find his brother all his life. In 1947 grandpa married to my grandma, whose name was Zia. They lived near grandpa’s mother in their own house. In 1950 my grandma gave a birth to my aunt and three years later my mom was born. My mother has three sisters. My grandpa lived in this house near the Ural River in Orenburg region whole his life. My mother and her sisters moved to Kazakhstan when they became grown up. My grandpa died in 2001 when I was 9 years old. When I was a child me, my family, all my aunts and their families used to visit him very often.

I decided to write about my grandpa- Zait because despite severe periods in his life he always smiled a lot, he was always very cheerful and kind. My grandpa for me is the evidence of human’s strength, will, bravery and kindness. He underwent many ordeals and never gave up. Every time when I think about my grandpa a great feeling of pride and admiration arouse in me!!!

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