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Yelena Semashko

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Born 1924, city of Kiev. In 1933 witness Ukrainian Golodomor [Famine] and was forced with her family to evacuate to a city of Essentuky, Russian Federation. Worked as a nurse at an Army Hospital in a city of Essentuky while attending Leningra’s Medical School in Essentuky evacuation. After the war graduated from the Medical School and worked in healthcare industry. Presently resides in Minneapolis, MN.

“When there was the famine, when there were horrors, we were told that all resources were used for armaments because we were surrounded by enemies. But when Hitler attacked then it turned out that there were no arms, no airplanes, no food for soldiers, and no trains to evacuate civilians from the war zone. That’s all. And boys along with some girls were drafted in the army. They did not return, almost none of them. Our class perished. That was our story…

Well, during the war he was fighting on the front and he was wounded and got a concussion. He ended up in an army hospital…

In Kirovobad? Is this Azerbaijan? Yes, but then, when his parents wrote to him that my parents and I returned to Yessentuki, well, this brave soldier escaped from the army hospital [in Azerbaijan, Soviet Republic at the time] and on a train car roof, wounded, all in bandages, with concussion ran to Yessentuki. Well, Yessentuki was a hometown and there were plenty of army hospitals…

And there he got his medical treatment in Yessentuki army hospital. But in overall, despite of all horrors of the time that our parents and we had lived through, I must tell you that we had lived a wonderfully romantic youth and then young-adulthood. There was love, and everything was wonderful against all odds.”

Photo by Kamil Dadashev

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