Veterans of the Great Patriotic War. How do they live today? Our journalist decided to ask some of those who passed or survived the war about this.
On August 31, 2019 Vera Ivanovna Vasilyeva turned 99 years old. In the year of the anniversary of the Victory, Vera Ivanovna will also celebrate her 100th anniversary.
She sings in the district choir …
Our first meeting took place a week before the holiday. At a concert in Izmailovsky Park, she read her poems. When I was asked to give an interview, she remarked in bewilderment: “Why do you need me? What interesting things can I tell you? ” A little later, she agreed and offered to meet at the territorial center of social services “Vostochnoye Izmailovo”, a branch of “Izmailovo”. That day she sang there in the choir …
Vera Ivanovna met Victory Day in Moscow
Seeing this interesting woman, hearing her beautiful, posed voice, it is impossible to imagine that she is almost a hundred years old. And having learned about this, I want to understand where there is so much vital energy in it, where the source of constant activity is hidden.
– Vera Ivanovna, please tell us about your family. Where were you born, who were your parents?
– I can be considered a Muscovite – in the third generation. My great-grandson from my son is already the sixth generation, and there are also two great-grand-nephews. My father is a native Muscovite, and my mother is a peasant woman, originally from Volokolamsk, just like the “national headman” Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin. She unconditionally accepted the communist ideology, was a member of the party.
Instead of buying bread for her four children, my mother, who worked as a cleaner in the cafeteria, paid membership fees with this money. Dad was a skilled plumber and had golden hands. That’s just the trouble – I constantly put it behind the collar.
Several times he tried to create better living conditions for the family, either he rented or even bought an apartment on the road, and we moved there. But after a while, my father drank the whole furnishings on drink, and we only had one cast-iron iron. And we again returned to our communal room.
We lived in a seven-story building on Bauman Street. The building was built in 1905 by the owner Karyagin. The house had gas, central heating and even seven-room apartments. And our 20-meter room was located in the basement.
You know, housing on the basement floor was then given to hard workers like my parents. Those who were on the higher social ladder, that is, doctors and teachers, lived on the third or seventh floors. The fact is that after the revolution, wealthy people, leaving their homeland, left all furniture and household utensils in their apartments.
My aversion to the existing ideology probably started when my mother was lectured at a general meeting. In 1935, the country’s leadership was preparing for a big “purge”. I attended that meeting. Mom was bonded on what the light is for the fact that her husband does not correspond to the image of a Soviet person.
She humiliatingly asked everyone for forgiveness … Social activists, meeting her mother on the street, constantly pestered her with questions: why can’t she re-educate her husband? I often asked political questions. Of course, I formulated them in a childish way. I saw the injustice, but no one could answer me why this is happening.
Unlike my mother, who did not believe in God, I eventually became an Orthodox Christian. This happened thanks to communication with neighbors who were believers. I always left the church inspired by hope.
– Where did you study, work?
– I finished 8th grade. She was not a member of the Komsomol, let alone a party. I decided to get a special education with the opportunity to immediately go to work to help the family. She graduated from the telegraph school, which was located on Tverskaya – Maxim Gorky Street. We worked on the Bodo apparatus. From five keys, we made letters, numbers and punctuation marks. Telegraph work was then considered very prestigious.
She composes poetry
– You are a participant in the war. Please tell us about it.
– I served in the 56th separate communications regiment, for a long time it was located in the Bryansk forest. We worked on Bodo and teletype. Marshal Zhukov often came to visit us. We wrote transcripts of his speeches. Georgy Konstantinovich admired the girls – young, sonorous, encouraged us, stroking our backs. We were delighted! Gathered around him. It was a real man!
“Zhukov at the apparatus!” Vera Ivanovna heard this more than once
We had a responsible job, we should not be distracted, think about our own. Once I fell asleep at the workplace, because I had not rest for two days. And what do you think, in my dream I continued to type … my dreams, visions. All this came out on tape. The girls woke me up in horror: “Vera, they will shoot you!”
The general was walking by, he heard. When he realized what had happened, he said: “Stop shooting! Let her sleep for two days. ” I still don’t know what the name of my savior was. The sergeant major demanded military discipline from us, and rightly so. We sometimes did not follow his orders to line up, he seriously cursed. Once we beat him, but then we all cried together, asked for forgiveness not only from him, but also from each other.
Towards the end of the war, I was transferred to an aviation regiment. Victory Day on May 9 I met in Moscow, on Red Square. I have the Order of Zhukov, the Order of the Great Patriotic War of the 2nd degree and the medal “For Victory over Germany.” There are also jubilee medals, although not all that are required.
– Where did you work after the war?
– I finished 10 classes. She worked as a home economics teacher in primary grades, and was also a homeroom teacher in the 5th grade. The director asked me to lead a very difficult, hooligan class that everyone refused. The children were from working-class families, the fathers of many were drunkards. As a result, my guys became the best, for which I received a gratitude from the district education department in the work book.
Then I was able to find an approach to each child, and to rein in the ringleader thanks to the strength of my character. The guy began to respect me, after school he was happy when he met. Many of those guys have become people, have received specialties. My husband became ill, I could not leave home for a long time, so I knitted things for the organization of disabled people.
– Please tell me how to overcome life’s difficulties, problems?
– I don’t just remember. I analyze my life lived. To say that it was not easy is wrong. Everything was usual for me. This is established by nature, by God. Black and white stripes alternate. If you feel bad now, then it will definitely be better. We must be ready to accept both troubles and joys. There is no need to feel euphoric with happiness, but also in grief, do not be hysterical. Yes, I understand that now. In my youth and mature years, I did not know this recipe.
– Is there a recipe for happiness? Does family longevity contribute to this?
– Happiness is different for each person, it is individual. But a strong family, where there is understanding, gives strength for life. The main thing is love! She’s always right! I have such a poem. By the way, I was writing for a long time, but I did not take this occupation seriously, besides there were constant worries, work … 15 years ago, poetry captured me. I already have six written notebooks. I can read you one of the essays:
I am old, but not old.
Lord, have mercy, save!
And there is no longing and anguish in me,
Finishing days are close though.
And I don’t regret anything, and I don’t feel sad, I don’t cry.
The Lord arranged it in a childish way. I will name everything – my destiny.
There was so much in life
The sun was shining, there was a storm
It was spring, it was winter
Of course – autumn, summer.
All together, I can say: my destiny.
There were mistakes, disappointments,
There was treason and betrayal, love.
And I don’t regret anything.
Lord, let me be in the world a little longer
The blood would not have cooled down longer.
Vera Ivanovna met her 99th birthday with her family: her daughter, granddaughter and daughter-in-law, who calls her “mommy” … But her son has passed away for a long time. He was an officer, commander of a tank regiment, clearing debris at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
And for the 100th anniversary, Vera Ivanovna is already preparing and does not take offense when reminded of him in advance.
Vera Ivanovna happily recalls her birthday: a festive table was laid for her at the social center and they sang “Long Summer!”