By Barbara Alpern Engel, Anastasia Posadskaya-Vanderbeck
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Additional info for A Revolution of Their Own: Voices of Women in Soviet History
Essentially, they were told to go find themselves a place to live, without any of the things they would need to set up housekeeping or to start farming. qxd 10/24/00 3:25 PM Page 29 Living Someone Else’s Life 29 who . . They were asked if they had relatives who were kulaks. And so they too were dispossessed, and all our kinfolk around were dispossessed. And the worst of it was that when we arrived in Moscow,10 of course, there was terrible famine there. Everything was being rationed, and we didn’t have ration cards; we didn’t have anything.
There he rented some kind of shed. I stayed in Moscow. Since I was not registered with them, I “slipped through the cracks” and remained there, while he left with Mother and the four remaining children. They had a very hard time of it and suffered terrible hunger, worse even than when all this was just beginning. And in Rzhev things were also very hard for them, and the children went hungry. They started school with empty stomachs. And they continued to go hungry until the war began. And then at some point, my brother came to Moscow to take the entrance exams for an industrial college, and he spent the night under a car just so he could take the exams.
As I already told you, her brother had also been branded a kulak and dispossessed. On some kolkhoz a potato crop rotted, and who was to blame? Only saboteurs could have done that. Aha, it must be Kudriavtsev. He’s the one. So they gave him a five-year prison sentence. When he completed it, he came to our family in Rzhev, although they themselves were having a hard time. He arrived, lived in Rzhev for a while, and then one night they came for him, for no reason at all, took him away, and that was that.