One Day in Children’s GULAG

Автор: , 11 Ноя 2012

Life in the internate went on schedule, like in a soldier's barracks in accordance with the habits and the level of martinet educators. They really did not know anything other than military drill. It was nothing to say about their spiritual level. Many children have written and read much better than their competent "teachers" and those children who was developed in education, well-read, with a talent for foreign languages, music, painting, of course, cause irritation and anger at the teachers. Narrow-minded people always hate the cultural and educated ones.

There were especially gifted children, a boy Igor Moskalev perfectly painted. He studied for some time in the art studio in Moscow, and then was enclosed in the internate. He couldn’t get used to a new life. He suffered much, longed for his parents. However, all the children were in pain. He was allowed to paint colors only on major proletarian holidays, after he wrote on a red calico some stupid slogans like: "Stalin - a great leader of the working people" or "Thank Stalin for our happy childhood." The latter slogan particularly "fits" to the children of “enemies of the people”. They had many reasons to "thank" the leader. The talent of Igor surprised all the kids. He wrote beautiful portraits of children and educators. The last he had never shown, because he was able to grasp all the human vices. His portraits of the children were amazing. Bright personalities, characters, moods ... Art exhibitions were held in the woods, away from the eyes of martinet-educators and Martynov.

Masha Tutchev played the piano beautifully. She composed the music. Of course, there were no musical instruments except old false piano. Mary adjusted it herself and played when she had free time, which was not enough. It was a little easier in the summer when mowing and hay-harvesting finished.

Vladimir Obolensky became friends with Masha and Igor, and often listened to her piano playing, and at these moments he remembered the house, and his mother, and her friend - Aunt Lisa – Elizabeth Mordkin, the daughter of the famous ballet dancer Mordkin, now she was the widow of Captain Tsvetkovsky, who was shot by the Bolsheviks in Moscow in the former Alexeyev cadet school, just for the fact that he was an officer. Aunt Lisa has taught Volodya French language and soon became like a family member.

Volodya liked Masha Tutchev, he “nearly fell in love" with her, although he was younger by two years. The history of her appearance in the internate was shrouded by secret, it was known only that she is a distant relative on her father’s side of the Russian poet Tutchev. Blond, blue-eyed with a slender waist and lovely features of the Slavic type, Masha had a good disposition and a kind wistful smile, a little sad ... and tender. “How she managed to keep all her good features in the Stalinist hell in Meshchera?” - Volodya often thought. Masha and Igor became his especial friends. And much later, as adults, he tried to find them scattered around the world by merciless fate. But he could not found them. They seemed to have sunk into eternity, into oblivion or nonexistence... or flown to another planet ... or, perhaps, were killed in this brutal country where man is no longer friend or brother to each other. This loss tormented him all his life.

But let’s come back to internate weekdays. The rise began early, at six in the morning. They slept in two barracks, boys in one, girls - in the other. In a winter, in frosty nights hungry wolves came out in the moonlight at the edge of the forest, they sat howling at the moon. The show was impressive.

Morning exercise almost always took place outside, except when it was a frost 20-30 degrees below zero. After that, they all went into the dining room. For breakfast was given gruel on the water, a piece of black bread and weak tea without sugar. What is the white bread and butter, kids had forgotten a long time ago. The breakfast was followed by mandatory standing in rows. Usually Martynov had a speech, to ensure that children have to thank Stalin and the Soviet regime, for they, parasites, have been feeding here, and they are not responsible for their fathers - the enemies of the people.
Then came the lessons. For the children who received bad marks – food was not given for a whole day. At two o'clock in the afternoon was dinner-time. Soup or schi were cooked on water, mostly with the potatoes and cabbage. On the second dish – nothing but potatoes with salted cucumbers, or gruel without butter.

By the way, the children planted and harvested vegetables for themselves. They planted and grew potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions. Agricultural work continued all summer and part of autumn. Vegetables grown and harvested with children sweat, Martynov and educators took for themselves. Although they had their own vegetable gardens and livestock, it does not stop them from robbing children. They stole everything they could ... including products: butter, meat, sugar, which children haven’t seen, and clothing. A hungry, often sick, ragged children ran around the internate in the search for food. They never ate their fill. So Stalin and the Bolsheviks dealt with innocent children. Their system did not differ from an ordinary fascism. And, therefore, they are cursed by their own people and their victims.

From three to seven in the evening, usually, was labour duty. The children have worked up a sweat: in the barnyard, in the dugouts – storages for vegetables, they clove ice, removed snow, mowed the grass in the summer for internate’s animals (four horses) and educators’s livestock (ten cows, eight goats and ten sheep). Mowing began at dawn from four to eight in the morning and from four to eight in the evening. Total full eight-hour day. Jailers skillfully exploited child labor. Perhaps it was also necessary for "world-wide victory of communism." At seven, they went to supper. The same "menu": a piece of black bread, gruel or potatoes, instead of tea – water on dry carrots. It appeared that the children themselves got their bread by the sweat in the Bolshevik’s paradise.
From eight to ten in the evening children taught lessons. At ten exactly – retreat and sleep.

Such was a life in this special internate for the children of enemies of the people. Day after day the same thing.

The beautiful forests and fields stretched around this place, lakes and rivers that are unique in their origin. In some lakes, as in White Lake, clear water reflects the bottom, and the water of Black Lake was as black and dense as tar, and fat carp was found there. Nature astonished by its virginity and beauty. Meschera was well-described by Konstantin Paustovsky, but he likely could not assume that this charming region can be turned into a prison for children.

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