Posts tagged St. Petersburg

Aidar’s Grandparents – Tragic Family Story

Reprisals of 30 years in the former USSR have been much talked about in each Soviet family. It is possible not to believe this first phrase, but actually it is the truth. My grandmother had suffered greatly in her early youth. She was 17 years old when she studied at the first year in Kazakh teacher training college (KazaPi) in Alma-Ata.  However, she was excluded from institute and from Komsomol «for communicating with enemies of the nation» – her own father and elder brother.

The father of my grandmother was a merchant who carried goods to the Russian cities – Petersburg and Ekaterinburg. He was very much a man of means. But in 30 years it had been dispossessed (all its condition had been expropriated). Earlier he had tried to go abroad with his family, but was detained, arrested and banished in Karlag. The brother of my grandmother was a  student of the Kazan University. But after the First World War, and then revolution in Russia, he was given possibility to finish the institute. He had returned home to Kazakhstan, he had accepted the new power of the Soviets and was engaged in creation of “red yurtas.”

The formed [collectivized] people like him wandered together with Kazakhs, taught them to read and write – attached to civilisation. But in 1937 he was arrested on charges of being involved in “anti-Soviet” activity and sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment. My grandmother had not only lost her father but now her elder brother and also her possibilities to graduate. Last time she saw her brother was on the railway platform where there was a structure built for the condemned. There were many people who cried out names of their relatives in hopes that someone would respond. She found her brother who asked to bring the newspapers to him. One of the security guards told her that the structure would stand until 6:00 in the morning of the next day.  However, when she returned the next morning with newspapers, the structure was not any more. At night it had been sent far on to the east.

My grandmother remained only with her mum and her younger brother. She got a job in the children’s home and continued to hope for the best. During all of 1937 she wrote letters to Stalin that her father and brother were innocent and condemned wrongly.  Thus, she was excluded from university. In 1938 there was a decision signed by Stalin in which it was decreed that children should not be responsible for their fathers. As a result of the edition of this order, many children of the condemned parents were restored to study and in the ranks of VLKSM. Among them there was also my grandmother.

Until the end of her life, she had been assured that Stalin did not know about the tragic destinies of children and when he had read their letters, he was strongly dissatisfied and was disposed to restore justice. Fortunately, her father did come back home, he had been released on amnesty.  But from her elder brother she had received only one letter in which he wrote that they were floating on the Ohot Sea in Magadan. He did not come back home.

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Alina’s Pride in her Roots–Her Grandparents


     I think that everyone have his own roots.  I’m very proud of my grandparents because they were great people.  They went through The Second World War and restored the economy of country.  I think that it is the most significant fact.  Our family is interesting because my Mother’s parents were deeply rooted in China and Arabian side.  At the same time, my father’s parents have roots from West. His mother was heir of a gold extracting industry in tsarist Russia.


         At the same time there were added German roots of grand grandparents. As always that time was keep the conflict between parents and their children which cover the time of my grand parents, grandpa was poor farmer who fell in love with my grandma who belonged to a rich family.  They got married and in their little family appeared five children, the fourth one was my father. It was time of civil war 1917. As a result economic and social view in country has changed. So my grandparents were deported to Kazakhstan. When they lived there friends in Kazakhstan advised them to change their surname to name of the grandfather. Consequently, my ancestors have lived as Antonovy since 1950. Grandpa was joiner and grandma was director of the restaurant at the railway station. They lived in an industrial district, in spite of all the misery, they were a big happy family.


         As to my mother’s parents, they refer to another social level. Grandmother was born in a family of rich farmer and jeweler, who escaped from China during the Great Chinese Revolution. All members in grandma’s family have economy and medical education. They combine several nations: Chinese, Uigur, Russian and Dungan.  Grandma knew seven foreign languages, and could drive a car, tractor, helicopter and combine. She was a director of agricultural complex, at the same time she was deputy in the parliament of country. During The Second World War grandmother lead collective farm and they sent provisions and clothes to battle-front. After the war she got a lot of honorary medals. Grandpa’s ancestries were Arabian prince. But he became an orphan very early. Despite that fact, he graduated from the University in St Petersburg, teacher’s training college, military college in Moscow. He went through the Great Patriotic war and he has a lot of honorary medals.


     For me, it’s very important to remember about my grand parents in order to organize my future and make them proud of me.

     “Take care about present, foresee future and remember past” (Seneka).

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