By Barbara Alpern Engel, Anastasia Posadskaya-Vanderbeck
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Additional resources for A Revolution of Their Own: Voices of Women in Soviet History
They also took away his son, my godfather. Nobody knows where he perished. And the rest lay low, just to stay alive. And the churches were looted. The poor peasants, the local bednota, looted everything, claiming it had to be done. They threw out the icons, burned them, and jeered at people who had them: Silly old women, what have you got hanging up there? And you didn’t save any icons? No, I didn’t. But then how did you pray in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s? I didn’t, because the consequences for doing so were extremely harsh.
And so they too were dispossessed, and all our kinfolk around were dispossessed. And the worst of it was that when we arrived in Moscow,10 of course, there was terrible famine there. Everything was being rationed, and we didn’t have ration cards; we didn’t have anything. It was extremely hard, and there were so many mouths to feed. Mama got work in a place where they raised rabbits for food and fur, and what remained from the rabbits she would give to the smallest child, so he would have at least something to eat.
You can just imagine what kind of shape I was in, how hard I cried. qxd 10/24/00 3:25 PM Page 33 Living Someone Else’s Life 33 the way they had been before. All the time, of course, I dreamed of divorcing him, but I didn’t know how or where to go. And did you want his child? I didn’t think about it, really. It just happened, you understand. You didn’t take precautions? No, we took precautions, but somehow . . And what about an abortion? Didn’t it occur to you to get an abortion, since your husband was so hard to live with?
A Revolution of Their Own: Voices of Women in Soviet History by Barbara Alpern Engel, Anastasia Posadskaya-Vanderbeck