Posts tagged Red Square

Ainur B’s Grandparents and the War Effort

When I started to think about my grandparents the first thing I remembered from their life are stories about World War II. This war changed their lives absolutely.  My mother’s grandfather from her mother’s side Akatay was the first bank worker in Kazakhstan. Because of his father’s position in society (he was called “rich man”) he was departured far away Kolkhoz (collective farm) to a chairman’s post.

But he wasn’t a guy who liked to take the easy way out. He started to write requests for military service to fight and eventually departed to the front.  After a while his family received a letter that Akatay died in Kursk Duga fight near Voronezh city heroically. His children hadn’t still found a place of his burial.

My mother’s grandfather from father’s side Otynshy was sent to fight when he was 50 because at that time all young men were gone to the front and it was the old men’s turn to go. He went till Berlin in a cavalry army and returned home with a victory. He lived long and prosperous life and was also well known hunter and akyn (poet).

My grandfather from my father’s side, named Darybay, served in an “urgent army.” Darybay with hundreds of young men defended Leningrad city from fascist army.  All days and nights he was standing against enemies with Leningrad citizens and eventually won that hard war.

Darybay was witness of military parade at Red Square which was held on the ninth of May in 1945 when thousands of German soldiers went back on a shameful march of people who lost that war.

Beside all that, my grandfather Darybay saved the life of one of his soldier friend. Both of them were executing one important task .They were crawling back after the task was done but his friend couldn’t crawl anymore. As you know during that hard time, soldiers and simple inhabitants were given only 200 grams of bread a day. His friend asked my grandfather to leave him alone and go back because he had no force to go on. My grandfather crawled back to his part and the only thing he could do was to show him to the place where his friend was lying. He was awarded by Order of Red Star and order for courage and died at the age of 78 surrounded by his loving children.

My grandfather from my mother’s side Kablolda was a member of a tank crew in WWII. He was injured badly but ran away from the hospital in order to join his army and walk down in a victory march along the streets of the German capital. After the war ended, he returned home and started to work on mountain mining. He was awarded a car “Pobeda” in Almaty for hard work. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get that car because he returned on a halfway to Almaty to liquidate fire started near his village. The task was not to let the fire get to mountain mining where dozen’s of explosions were hidden. And he helped to avoid an outburst. He died at the age of 43 because of his war wounds.

All of my grandfathers brought in a huge contribution to win WWII and I’m proud of them.





Leave a comment »

Daur’s Grandparents “Lived in Stalin Times”

          My grandfather was born in 1932 when the whole country was suffering from hunger.  I don’t remember much about my grandparents only because they didn’t like talking about it. It was always about the present life. When I asked my mum whether she could tell me anything interesting about them, her response was “they lived in a time of Stalin” meaning the dullness of lifetime at that period.

           My grandfather was a teacher, all his life. From where I’m from, he was the first one who graduated from the institute. He taught in a lot of schools, he was the head teacher and the teacher. His subject was chemistry. I remember almost everyone talking about how my grandpa was so into his subject and how he loved and how he was the best at it. I grew up with my grandparents, so they were like my parents; I love them and miss them so much.

       As I said my grandpa was born in a period when there was hunger all over the land. When I was doing history, I once read that, at that period of hunger 3.5 million people died from it, this gave me the chance to see what my grandpa went through.

       Another thing I have to mention about my grandpa is that he used to take his students with him, every summer he took his students to different places, different countries and cities. My mum told me that he also took her to Moscow at year 8, to Leningrad, the Red Square in Moscow, the mausoleum of Lenin. There are many pictures of my grandpa and his students, they are so old. Their trip took 3 days. He enjoyed giving his students a happy lifetime to remember.

       About my grandma, she was also a teacher, she was a mathematician. She’s a great person. She is the only person I could look up to. When she left us for good, I couldn’t imagine going further. I grieved…

Leave a comment »

One Day at a Time – Of Good and Evil

I don’t think it possible to belabor Alexander Solzhenitsyn, there is so much that has not been covered of this great man.  The Olympics opening in China today could possibly mute any more of his voice reaching out to the masses, the media will be so taken in with the extravaganza.  After all, 08-08-08 will not come around again and besides it is my birthday.  My mind will be on other matters of celebrating as well.  But for now, I wanted to quote from the Op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal titled “Of Good and Evil” of what the editor wrote on Solzhenitsyn.  Then I will post what I wrote on May 22, 1976 when I was in Moscow Russia, Day 19 of my 36 day tour as a college senior.

“Russians found in Solzhenitsyn, who died Sunday in Moscow at age 89, their own story told with clarity, courage and humanity.  Ivan Shukhov’s prison camp was, in reality, all of the Soviet Union.  When “Gulag Archipelago,” his monumental history of the Soviet penal system, was published in Paris in 1973, Solzhenitsyn made it impossible for serious people anywhere to excuse Stalin’s crimes or the inhumanity of communist totalitarianism.  His documentation showed that the commissars had the blood of 60 million victims on their hands.  Communism’s essence was exposed in relentless detail as slavery, terror and imperialism.”

Zoom back 32 years and this is what I first observed as I had left the airport on a tour bus entering the city of Moscow, the Russia that Solzhenitsyn had left behind:

“…we saw a lot of billboards and statues of pro-Lenin and pro-people.  It shows the striving forward and looking in the distance to the ideal in the future.  The statues show power and strength in their very material and build, they are the only expression of art to speak of that can be seen.  Nothing else of real beauty can be described to be seen that might have existed before 1917.  The only thing of beauty wherever you turn is the onion-domed spires of the once 700 churches in Moscow.  Now, our guide noted with a tinge of pride, there are only 43 churches operating.  I thought that interesting since the first time she gave us a tour of Red Square, she quickly dismissed the subject of the huge icon that used to face out to the square and also said rather quickly that St. Basil’s was a museum now after it had been a den for robbers in the 16th century…”

Leave a comment »