I was named after my grandfather.
My grandfather, Vladimir Yakovlev, was a murderer, a bloody executioner, a security officer. Among his many victims were his own parents.
Grandfather shot his father for speculation. His mother, my great-grandmother, upon learning of this, hanged herself.
My happiest childhood memories are connected with the old, spacious apartment on Novokuzetskaya, which was very proud of in our family. This apartment, as I learned later, was not purchased and not built, but requisitioned — that is, taken by force — from a wealthy Zamoskvoretskaya merchant family.
I remember the old carved buffet, in which I climbed for jam. And in the evenings, a large cozy sofa on which my grandmother and I wrapped a blanket and read fairy tales.
And two huge leather chairs, which, according to family tradition, used only for the most important conversations.
As I learned later, my grandmother, whom I loved very much, had worked successfully for most of her life as a professional agent provocateur. A born noblewoman, she used her origins to build connections and provoke acquaintances to frankness.
According to the results of conversations she wrote official reports.
The sofa on which I listened to fairy tales, and armchairs, and a buffet, and the rest of the furniture in the apartment my grandfather and grandmother did not buy. They simply chose them for themselves in a special warehouse, where the property was delivered from the apartments of the shot Muscovites.
From this warehouse the security officers furnished their apartments for free.
Under a thin film of ignorance, my happy childhood memories are imbued with robbery, murder, violence and betrayal. Soaked in blood.
What am I the only one?
All of us who grew up in Russia are the grandchildren of the victims and executioners. Everything is absolutely, without exception. In your family there were no victims?
So there were executioners. There were no executioners?
So there were victims. There were no victims, no executioners?
So there are secrets.
Do not even hesitate!
I think we greatly underestimate the influence of the tragedies of the Russian past on the psyche of today’s generations. Our psyche is with you. To this day, as we say goodbye, we say to each other – “Goodbye!”, Not realizing that “dating” is actually a prison word.
In ordinary life there are meetings, dates are in prison.
To this day we easily write in sms: “I will write when I am free!”
Assessing the scale of the tragedies of the Russian past, we usually consider the victims. But after all, in order to assess the scale of the impact of these tragedies on the psyche of future generations, it is necessary to count not the dead, but the survivors.
The dead are dead. The survivors became our parents and the parents of our parents.
Survivors are widowed, orphaned, lost loved ones, exiled, dispossessed, expelled from the country, killed for their own salvation, for the sake of an idea or for victory, betrayed and betrayed, ravaged, sold conscience, turned into executioners, tortured and tortured, raped, mutilated, robbed, forced to convey, drunk with hopeless grief, feelings of guilt or lost faith, humiliated, past mortal hunger, captivity, occupation, camps.
The dead – tens of millions. Survivors – hundreds of millions.
Hundreds of millions of those who conveyed their fear, their pain, their sense of constant threat from the outside world – to children, who, in turn, adding their own suffering to this pain, transmitted this fear to us.
Just statistically, today in Russia – there is not a single family that somehow would not bear the hardest consequences of the atrocities of unprecedented scale that continued in the country for a century.
Have you ever thought about the extent to which this life experience of three consecutive generations of your DIRECT ancestors influences your personal, today’s perception of the world? Your wife?
If not, think about it.
It took me years to understand my family history. But now I know better, where did my eternal gratuitous fear come from? Or exaggerated secrecy.
Or an absolute inability to trust and create close relationships.
Or the constant feeling of guilt that haunts me since childhood, as much as I can remember.
At school, we were told about the atrocities of the German fascists. In the institute – about the excesses of the Chinese Red Guards or the Cambodian Khmer Rouge.
We just forgot to say that the zone of the most terrible in the history of mankind, unprecedented in scale and duration of the genocide, was not Germany, not China or Kombodzha, but our own country.
And this horror of the worst genocide in the history of mankind survived not the distant Chinese or Koreans, but three generations of PERSONALLY YOUR family.
It often seems to us that the best way to protect oneself from the past is not to disturb him, not to dig into family history, not to get to the horrors that have happened to our relatives.
It seems to us that it is better not to know. Actually – worse.
What we do not know continues to influence us, through childhood memories, through relationships with parents. Simply, not knowing, we are not aware of this influence and therefore are unable to resist it.
The worst consequence of a hereditary injury is the inability to recognize it. And, as a result, the inability to realize the extent to which this injury distorts our current perception of reality.
It doesn’t matter what it is for each of us today that personifies this fear, who exactly each of us today sees as a threat – America, the Kremlin, Ukraine, homosexuals or Turks, “depraved” Europe, the fifth column or just the boss at work or the police officer entrance to the subway.
It is important – are we aware of the extent to which our current personal fears, the personal sense of an external threat – in reality are only ghosts of the past, the existence of which we are so afraid to admit?
… In the 19th, in ruin and famine, my grandfather-killer was dying from consumption. Saved him from death by Felix Dzerzhinsky, who was dragged from somewhere, most likely from the next “special” warehouse, a box of French sardines in oil.
Grandfather ate them for a month and, only because of this, he survived.
Does this mean that I owe my life to Dzerzhinsky?
And, if so, how to live with it?
ON PHOTO: My grandfather’s service KGB certificate, which still exists. Read the text carefully.
He, in my opinion, is more indicative of what is written in this post.