Grandmother worked in a coal mine from 1952, and then she transferred to a workers' canteen and tookk a position of a cook there.

I do not know where great-grandmother worked, but when it was time to retire — 55 in the Soviet Union for women — she had no documents to prove she had ever work at all, and since one needs 25 years of working experience to get a government pension, she got almost nothing — five roubles per month when the lowest salary in the Soviet Union was a hundred. There is only one line in her official employment record — when she was 68, she spent a year as a security guard.

At a Black Sea resort, 1959

Odessa Opera Theater, 1959, with some relative of grandfather

Her sister got a normal pension, as did her husband.

Grandmother's brother was drafted by the military for three years, and then he got married. He inherited a house from those people with whom he had lived right after the war, and he moved there with his wife and children.

Grandmother's brother in the military, 1955

In 1964 they all were “rehabilitated”. In the Soviet Union it means that the government tells you that you have been wrongly imprisoned, but that is erased now, and they have no beef with you anymore. You do not get any money or apologies.

And then I was born and lived in this house for the first five years of my life until my parents got their own apartment. They rented a room nearby, and I lived with grand- and great-grandparents.

And now you probably think everything was fine for her after that. Wake up, it is the Soviet Union.

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