Approximately in 1952 my great-grandmother got married again although officially this marriage was registered in 1967 only. I know nothing about that story but always thought of her second husband as of my great-grandfather. He was born in 1903. Did time, yes, it is a family tradition.
He mentioned a prison camp only once. He apparently was valued there since he was the only person knowing how to manufacture files — the locksmith files, that is. He even had a privilege of walking to work from the camp and back without guards. Once he was walking back from work through a forest and got temporarily blind — not enough nutrition. He could not keep walking, but he could not just stand there either — he could be charged with an escape attempt if he was late to the camp. Luckily, someone else was returning by the same road, and they helped him.
Eventual great-grandfather, born 1903
Some of his relatives apparently did not trust Stalin and escaped to the American occupation zone during the war, ending up in Canada. They sent us letters regularly, and we even received a few packages from Canada. And lots of Christmas postcards — I really liked to look at them.
Great-grandparents with my mother, New Year's Eve, 1954
Still, some other relatives of him were Stalin's fans, too. They ended up in prison camps and exile in Kazakhstan.
The rest of the record: “Released from exile on October 29, 1955.”
May 28, 1953, in exile
Winter of 1954. Grandparents and my mother — and I do not know anybody else in this picture.
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