The family of Tokarevs

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Mosaic of memories.

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Every year everybody goes deeper in a historic memory of horrors and sufferings of the people who survived in the Second World War. Every year less facts are recollected, and less often we look back on our history. Nevertheless, it is very important to remember those events not to let such things happen again. The Second World War influenced each family, entered the door of each house.My grandparents, Tokareva Nina Sergeevna and Tokarev Alexander Ivanovich, were very young, when the war began, but they don’t remember much from their childhood. At that time granmother with her parents lived in Dobryanka ( Perm`s Region) and grandfather lived in the district of Perm called Chapaevskij.


Pictures from childhood

Little girl Ninochka was sitting by the window and looking through it. Behind the window the snow was falling down slowly, cold wind was blowing and it was frosty. It was the winter of 1943 - with severe frosts and hunger, which were constantly reminding of themselves. Ninochka kept looking at the path, which led to the nearest shop from which her mother had to return from soon .It was warm in the house, there was fire in the stove, coals were crackling, the sister was playing and the brothers were talking loudly. Paying no attention to younger sister Lida and two elder brothers, Nina continued looking through the window. She waited till her mother brought some bread and everyone sat down to table to have dinner. There had always been plenty of food in their house –there was a kitchen garden near the wooden log hut, so they had potato, carrot and other vegetables. And the cow always gave fresh milk. Nina knew about it perfectly well, nevertheless bread was much tastier for her than small cakes made of potato, milk, and porridge. It was impossible to buy bread in shops during those severe years – it was given out only by cards. And the portion for one person was 200 grammes a day . It was also difficult to imagine how the people who had neither a kitchen garden, nor products, but the smallest piece of bread instead lived. And when the mother came home at last and brought invaluable grammes of white bread, Ninochka seriously said to her: " Just change your clothes, come again to the shop and you will be given some more bread". And the elder brothers, having heard it, laughed at their sister. At those times Ninochka was only six years old. During the war many people suffered from hunger and could hardly feed themselves.For comparison, monthly salary was 700 rub., and one loaf of bread cost 300 rub.

Grandfather`s Childhood

Sashenka, a blue-eyed boy of five with fair hair, did not want to let the father go to the front, but there was no other way out. The war began and the life became more complicated. It was August, 1941. It was raining that awful day. It was just the beginning of the war and a lot of soldiers were sent to the front. Within several months – from August till December there were no letters from Ivan Avdeevich, and when the family got one it was a holiday for them. It was not so easy to write letters at the front, for there was no time and conditions. Besides each letter was censored, and the “unnecessary” lines were deleted. For five months about five letters came from the front, there were long enough and filled with love. These letters have been carefully kept till the present moment, they have turned yellow and have decayed, but it is possible to distinguish the letters and read them . After the letter in December letters suddenly stopped coming. What might have happened at the post office? And in spite of everything, even one letter lost on its way, was awaited with impatience and hope, that it would soon reach home, dispel fears and strengthen hope. There came next year, January, and there was not a single letter. On a winter day the letter at last came, but it was not from the father, but from his comrade. It was written in the letter, that Ivan Avdeevich had been left lying on the battle field because of the wound that he had got in the fight. They knew nothing about the further events. What had happened to him? Was the wound fatal, or was he picked up by somebody, or was taken away in captivity? Nobody knew... According to all the documents, Ivan Avdeevich Tokarev was considered to have disappeared without a trace. But the family did not lose hope and believed that Ivan Avdeevich would return from the front. Then, in 1943, brothers of the Sasha`s mother one after another came from the front, and there were no news from Ivan. Little Sasha understood, that he could hardly see his father again, nevertheless he did not exclude such an opportunity. And only in 1945, when the war was over, the hope for was lost.


The Russian version: Семья Токаревых,,,

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