Lev Shlyakhter: father's arrest
Categories: First childhood memory, Parents, Lev Shlyakhter
What are your first childhood memories?
I can tell you about my first childhood memories now.
I have difficult memories. When I was 10 I was left fatherless. After Kirov was killed there began Lenin’s repressions. On the 11th of May in the year of 36 my father was taken up, arrested and blamed under the article KRD (transl. Russian abbreviation). Do you want me to expand the abbreviation? Anti-revolutionary activity.
What was your father?
He worked at the factory, a leather factory, then at the chrome factory as a head of something, I don’t know, but as a middle management staff. Yes. Well, and here everything started, he was taken up. We were left with mother. Two children. I was about 10 years old.
And was your mother thrown out of work? Or she didn’t have any job?
Yes, she was thrown out of work; she didn’t work for two years.
You were under the article «the family of the public enemy».
We weren’t dishoused, we all stayed at the same flat. She ... well. The relatives of the public enemies were called Trotskyists. When I was 11 they even took my red scarf off. When I was 12. My Pioneer scarf.
Do you remember how your father was taken up? Or he wasn’t arrested at home?
Yes, I came home. As it happened ... This arrest... mother and me went to her sister over the river Vyatka, there was a small settlement Binkovo there. We were in bad mood, mother was nervous, very nervous. «Let’s stay home», she said. There was a ferry-boat over the river. We came home. And at once they came out all round wearing covert coats and began making a house-check. They searched but didn’t find anything.
And how many years of imprisonment were given for your father?
Five years. He was lucky to be freed too. Because he was freed on the 11th May 1941. Because at that time all men at his age were freed only after 1941, at the beginning of war. Everybody wasn’t freed. Only «small enemies» were freed. And my father was a native of that region; I found the way here incidentally.
Researcher: Natalja Ivashchanka, Svetlana Silava, Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno