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Alexander Daylis

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Born 1921, city of Kishinev, region of Bessarabia, Romania [later annexed by the Soviet Union, renamed to Moldova. Present day Republic of Moldova]. Comes from a prominent Jewish Romania musicians family. Witnessed Romanian “Iron Guard” – a fascist party of Romania – retributions against Romanian Jewish population. Had to escape from Bucharest, Romania to avoid persecutions. Was shot at during the Jewish-Romanian refugees being attacked by Romanian army in a city of Galati, Romania. On brinks of World War II evacuated to Sverlovsks [present day Ekatirenburg, Ural Mountains region, Russian Federation] former USSR. Studied until his sophomore year in Sverdlovks Conservatory as a pianist. Volunteered serve active duty in Soviet Armed during the World War II despite being except from military service as a foreign-born naturalized citizen. Graduated from a military college in a city of Kamyshlov as an Infantry 1st Lieutenant. Presently resides in Minneapolis, MN.

Photo by Kamil Dadashev

“Turns out to be in the Soviet Union. I was accepted to Conservatory [Music department in Soviet University system]. I studied there for a year. The war broke. Then Evacuation started. Our family went to Sverdlovsk [present day Yekaterinburg, Ural Mountain region of Russia]. My paternal uncle used to live there. We found shelter there. I continued my studies, the second year, in Sverdlovsk Conservatory, for a short period. My conscience would not allow me to stay behind in war time and avoid active combat service. So, without my parents sanction, so to speak, I went to the VoyenKomat (Russian for Army Recruiting Office) and said, “I want to serve in army.” At that time Bessarabians [residents of the recently Soviet-annexed eastern Romania] could not serve in army yet. They were not trusted, because of suspicion they could turn out to be enemies, not friends of the Soviet Union [since they were not native but naturalized citizens of the USSR]. I was sent to an infantry [officer] school in Kamyshlov city. It was east of Sverdlovsk, so, beyond the Urals Mountains.”

Photo by Kamil Dadashev

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