~ Vladimer ~
Vladimer was born in Moscow and was living with another relative and not with his parents. When he was 7 years old, for the summer he was sent to stay with a Jewish aunt and uncle in Ukraine.
One week after Vladimer arrived the war started. He was then evacuated with his aunt and cousins to the Ural Mountain area to stay with other family there. He had no school for one year. His uncle was a veteran and was not allowed to evacuate. He was sent to a concentration camp in Austria. His uncle was there until the end of the war and liberated by the Americans. They offered to send him to the USA but he chose to return to his family.
His father and mother were put in Stalins prison, the oppression of Jews, and sent to the gulag (concentration camp). They were separated and put into two different prisons, taken in 1935 when Vladimir was 3 years old. This is why he lived with other relatives. Both parents were sentenced to 6 years. Instead they were kept for 11 years.
In 1946 his father was released when Vladimir was 14 years old. His mother was executed but he did not know that until he found out in the archives in Moscow. His father knew before but did not say anything.
Vladimer went to live with his father then and finished school in Bauminska. He remembers German POW’s in Moscow; a lot of them were sent to work in Russia. They worked hard because otherwise they would not eat. He also remembers his foster grandfather. He was very old.
Vladimer went to school and became a Construction Engineer, cutting metal. After graduation he was sent to Minsk to work. (In the Soviet Union when someone graduates from school the government decides where to send you to work) He was in Belarus, near Minsk.
Vladimer’s wife died but their daughter is in Akko. Their granddaughter and great-granddaughter are in Israel as well. He likes to go to the old city of Acre a lot, buys fish, vegetables there.
Vladimer also has a cactus garden in his apartment. He has books how to cultivate and grow the cactus and has had rare flowers on them. Vladimer is a happy man, fun to talk to.
“I am happy. I was always with family and never in an orphanage in the war.”