“Heavy sand” Rybakov in brief

The author’s father was born in Switzerland, in Basel. His grandfather Ivanovsky had three sons. Father was the youngest in the family, as they say – misinic, that is, little finger.

When his father graduated from college and was preparing to enter the university, the idea arose to go to Russia, to the homeland of his ancestors, to a small southern city. And they went – grandfather Professor Ivanovsky and the future father of the author, a handsome young blonde Jakob. It was in 1909, almost seventy years ago.

Then Jacob saw the future mother of the author – and this girl, this blue-eyed beauty, the daughter of the shoemaker Rakhlenko, became destiny for him. He clung to her for life, as our forefather James clung to his Rachel. Jacob’s mother was against this marriage. Jacob did not concede… In a word, a year has passed, and Professor Ivanovsky came back to the city with his wife Elfrida, a slender such a helpless son of Jacob and a housekeeper.


must say that here the author’s mother hid her impudence and obstinacy far away, and before her grandmother Elfrida appeared the quiet, modest beauty Rachel. Suddenly, my grandmother put forward a “heavy artillery”: it turns out that she is not Jewish, but a Swiss of German descent, and when her grandfather married her, he moved to Protestantism. But Rahlenki did not want to think about Protestantism… In general, everything ended in an agreement, and after the wedding the young people left for Switzerland.

So, the author’s parents live in Basel. A year later his brother Leva is born, and six months later the mother with the baby comes to her parents in Russia. She was uncomfortable in a stiff professorial German house. Less than two months later, as it appeared and Jacob.

Leva has measles, Leva has a pig, then the author appears and the mother remains to feed him, then she has to stay to give birth and feed Yefim. They stayed until August 1914, and the pope was stuck in Russia. A handsome, educated, polite, kind person – but a man without a specialty.

And grandfather Rahlenko decided to let him through the trading part. At first his father was a clerk in a butcher’s shop. Then my jealous mother found him a place where women did not smell, – in the shop of iron goods.

But now the revolution, the tsar was overthrown, the Pale of Settlement was abolished, and even Rakhlenko’s grandfather began to incline to his father and mother to go to Switzerland. But my mother does not care! For his absurd and extravagant character, his father loved her even more, understood that she needed just such a husband as he, calm, delicate and loving. Precisely because he was such a man, he began to work in the shoe shop of his father-in-law.

The elder son’s grandfather’s name was Joseph. After one strong scandal between his father and Joseph, the author’s family separated from his grandfather, bought a small house on the next street.

In the 17th, Lyuba was born, in the 19 th – Henry, in the 25th – Dina. The family organized a shoemaking team and by the mid-20’s. lived decently… My older brother Lev was sent to study in Moscow, at the Sverdlovsk Communist University. In the 28th my mother gave birth to my younger brother Sasha, my seventh and last child.

In the 30-ies. on the basis of the family artel, the state shoe factory was created, and the director Ivan Antonovich Sidorov appointed his father the head of raw materials and accessories. In 1934, sister Lyuba entered the medical school in Leningrad and got married, and Igor, the first grandson, appeared in the house. He married Leva in Chernigov himself, he did not show his bride to his parents, but people learned that his wife, Anna Moiseevna, an important person, teaches political economy. Older than five, she has a girl from her first marriage.

The thunder struck in broad daylight: an article appeared in the regional newspaper, “Strangers and plunderers at a shoe factory.” As a stranger, his father was mentioned, “a man of dubious social origin,” some workers and, of course, the director Sidorov. There was a search, my father was arrested. Brother Lyova on the matter of his father said that the investigation will figure it out, but he does not have the right to interfere. An indicative process was held – a visiting session of the regional court. In general, the results had to wait for the worst. But thanks to the brilliant defense of lawyer Tereshchenko after reviewing the case, his father was given a year suspended, Sidorov was also released…

After that, the neighbor Ivan Karlovich arranged his father in a depot for storage. Soon terrible news came: Brother Lyova and his wife were killed. Her daughter, Olechka and Olya, was sent to her nanny Anna Yegorovna at the village to Anna Yegrovna’s relatives-her mother did not want to hear about this girl. She to her that, the grand daughter? In short, everything ended up in the fact that my father arranged Anna Yegorovna in the FZU cleaner, she received a room, and Olya remained in the author’s family.

That’s how they lived. Luba, Henry, Yefim and the author have already worked, the financial situation of the parents has improved, but it was not brilliant. And the author decided: let Dina enter the conservatory, Lyuba will take Igor, Sasha and Olya will stand on their feet, and then he will move somewhere to the industrial center, to work in his specialty.

… On June twenty-second the war began, the twenty-third author was called.

After the war, the author, step by step, clarified the circumstances of his relatives’ death. Why relatives were not evacuated? Mother did not want to. She believed that everything that is said about the Germans is fiction.

But then the Germans entered the city, and an order was given to all Jews to move to the ghetto. Mom told my father that he would declare his semi-German origin. But his father refused: he did not want to save himself without his family.

Just at that time Uncle Grisha appeared in the ghetto, secretly came from the partisan detachment. He confirmed that the Germans were exterminating the Jews. He showed little Igor the way to the forest. About his father said that he must leave the ghetto – you need your man at the station.

In the ghetto was carried out the first action of destruction. She was subjected to Proreznaya street.

Soon Uncle Grisha came to the ghetto again and said that the ghetto’s fate had been decided; we must go into the forest, and this requires weapons. The father presented his Swiss passport to the authorities, and he was appointed head of the Depot warehouse. Appear in the ghetto, to see someone he was banned.

The most intrepid in the ghetto were the children: they delivered food, displaying unprecedented courage and courage. Brother Sasha and another boy wore a stuffing from an abandoned fruit and vegetable base, they were discovered by SS men… Ilya was shot downstairs, and Sasha died so on the fence and hung. He was fourteen, Ilya was twelve years old.

Grandfather lived in the cemetery as part of the funeral brigade. In the spring of 1942, fifteen to twenty people per day died in the ghetto. Jewish customs prescribe to bury the dead in shrouds, there were not enough shrouds, and they were brought back from the cemetery, and they were armed with weapons.

Eventually, policemen on duty at the cemetery tracked Grandpa when he went into the woods for weapons, and killed him.

Uncle Grisha wanted to take people from the ghetto into the detachment. And my mother sent Dean to Judenrat to persuade Uncle Joseph, the chairman of the Judenrat, to show them as dead. When it became clear that Joseph was going to extradite these people to the Germans, Dina shot him from his own pistol. The sister was crucified, and, dead, she hung on the cross for three days.

My father took part in the operation to steal two cars with weapons from the station. The operation was brilliant, and his father came to the commandant’s office to save the innocent. He was tortured for six days. On the seventh they were taken to the square in front of the ghetto, dragged to the gallows and hung.

After the raid on the station, the regime became tougher, and the patrol grabbed little Igor when he was coming from the partisans. The execution was again in the square. Igor called his grandmother. Mom told her grandson not to be afraid, to lower her head and close her eyes. The executioner cut it in half.

The ghetto now had weapons, and it was decided, breaking through the guard, to go into the forest.

Out of many houses people simply did not come out: they were overcome by fear. But those who managed to overcome fear – there were about six hundred of them – reached the saving forest. And then the mother told Ole to find a lawyer Tereshchenko and tell him that she was the granddaughter of Rachel Rahlenko. And no one has ever seen his mother alive or dead. She disappeared, dissolved in the air, in the pine forest, near the place where she was born, lived life, raised children and grandchildren and saw their terrible death.

After the war, the author found a place where, according to rumors, his father was buried. We rummaged through the whole wasteland and found nothing: only sand, sand, clean loose heavy sand…

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“Heavy sand” Rybakov in brief