Leonid Shturm

The Price of Bread Coupons

On June 23, 1941 we were evacuated all together: my mother, my sister and I to the Chelyabinsk region, Buguruslan district, the village of Panikla, and the collective farm named after Karl Marx where we worked. In 1944 we moved to Buguruslan, where I began to study at a factory school without knowing Russian. After studies I was sent to the city of Chkalov to work at the 47th Leningrad Aviation Plant. I worked there for 3 months, and once during the night shift my bread ration cards and coupons for hot meals were stolen. I applied to the work committee for help, but they didn’t believe me, so I decided to run away to my mother in Buguruslan. A few days later I was arrested and sentenced to 5 years of prison.

In 1945 I was granted amnesty on the occasion of the end of the war and the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. In February 1946 I was drafted into the Soviet Army by the Buguruslan military enlistment office.

In 1949, a tracing request concerning me came to my military unit, as I later found out that my mother in 1945 left for Poland, and soon Captain Smirnov from the Special Department fabricated a case against me. Three judges (a “Troika”) sentenced me for 5 years. I worked at the uranium mine in the Krasnoyarsk Territory. And in 1952 due to my conscientious work I was prematurely released with the obligation not to disclose secrets. Within 24 hours I had to leave that territory.