A biography of a Russian citizen - "descendant of a killer"
The past and the crimes of Soviet Union that haunts Russia.
"I was named after my grandfather. My grandfather, Vladimir Yakovlev, was a murderer, a bloody executioner, a checkist. His own parents were among many of his victims.
His father was shot by his grandfather for speculation. His mother, my great-grandmother, hung herself when she found out about it. My happiest childhood memories are connected to an old, spacious apartment on Novokuznetskaya, which our family was very proud of. This apartment, as I later learned, was not bought or built, but was confiscated - that is, taken by force - from a wealthy merchant family from Zoskvorets. I remember the old carving buffet I used to climb up to get jam. And a large cozy sofa, on which my grandmother and I, wrapped in a blanket, read fairy tales in the evenings. And two huge leather chairs, which, according to a family tradition, were used only for the most important conversations. As I later found out, my grandmother, whom I loved dearly, successfully worked most of her life as a professional provocateur. A born noblewoman, she used her origins to establish connections and provoke friends to frankness. I wrote official reports based on the results of the conversations.
The sofa on which I listened to fairy tales, and armchairs, and a buffet, and all the other furniture in the apartment were not bought by my grandparents. They simply chose them for themselves in a special warehouse, where property from the apartments of shot Muscovites were delivered.
Checkers furnished their apartments for free from this warehouse. Underneath the thin film of ignorance, my happy childhood memories are imbued with the spirit of robbery, murder, violence and betrayal. Soaked in the Blood. Am I the only one? All of us, who grew up in Russia, are grandchildren of victims and executioners. Everything absolutely, everything, without exception. Were there no victims in your family? So there were the executioners. Were there no executioners? So there were victims. There were no victims, no executioners? So there are secrets there. Don't even doubt it! I think we greatly underestimate the impact of the tragedies of the Russian past on the psyche of today's generations. Sharing our minds with you. To this day, saying goodbye, we say to each other - "Goodbye! ", not realizing that "date" is actually a prison word. In ordinary life, there are meetings, dating is in prison. To this day we easily write in texts: "I'll write when I'm free! ". When will I become FREE... Assessing the scale of the tragedies of the Russian past, we usually consider the dead. But in order to assess the extent of the impact of these tragedies on the psyche of future generations, one must consider survivors, not the dead. The dead are dead. The survivors became our parents and the parents of our parents. Survivors are widows, orphans, lost loved ones, expelled, disgraced, exiled, killed for their own salvation, for ideas or for victories, betrayed and betrayed, broken, sold their conscience, turned into executioners, p beaten and tried, raped, mutilated, robbed, forced to report, sleeping from unenlightened grief, guilt or lost faith, humiliated, passed mortal famine, captivity, occupation, camps. Tens of millions of dead. Hundreds of millions of survivors. Hundreds of millions of those who have transferred their fear, their pain, their sense of a constant threat from the outside world - to children who, in turn, adding their own suffering to this pain, have passed this fear on to us. Just statistically, there is not a single family in Russia today that would not bear the grave consequences of the unprecedented atrocities of their scale that have continued in the country for a century. Have you ever wondered how this life experience of three consecutive generations of your DIRECT ancestors affects your personal perception of the world today? If not, then think about it. Took me years to understand my family history. But now I know better where my eternal irrational fear came from. Or an exaggerated stealth. Or the absolute inability to trust and build a close relationship. Or a constant sense of guilt that’s haunted me since I was a child as long as I can remember. At school we were told about the atrocities of German fascists. At the Institute about the atrocities of Chinese Hunweibins or Cambodian Red Khmer. We just forgot to say that the zone of the most terrible thing in human history, unprecedented in scale and duration of the genocide was not Germany, not China or Cambodia, but our own country. And those who survived this horror of the most terrible genocide in human history were not distant Chinese or Koreans, but three consecutive generations of YOUR OWN family. We often think that the best way to protect ourselves from the past is not to disturb it, not to dig into family history, not to get into the horrors that happened to our relatives. We think it's better not to know. It actually is worse. A lot. What we don't know continues to affect us, through childhood memories, through relationships with our parents. Simply unknowingly, we are not aware of its impact and therefore powerless to counter it. The worst consequence of an inherited trauma is the failure to be aware of it. And, as a consequence, the failure to realize to what extent this trauma distorts our perception of reality today. It doesn't matter that it is for each of us today who is the embodiment of this fear, who each of us sees as a threat - America, the Kremlin, Ukraine, homosexuals or Turks, the "depraved" Europe, the fifth column, or just the beginning alniki at work or a police officer at the entrance to the subway What is important is whether we realize to what extent our personal fears today, our personal sense of external threat - are in reality merely ghosts of the past, the existence of which we are so afraid to acknowledge.
"... At 19 years old, during the great hunger, my killer grandfather almost died from hunger. He was saved from death by Felix Dzerzhinsky the Director of ruthless secret police CHEKA, who brought from somewhere, most likely from another "special" warehouse, a box of French sardines in butter. My grandfather ate them for a month and, only thanks to that, he survived. Does this mean that I owe my life to Dzerzhinsky? And if so, how to live with it? "
Vladimir Yakovlev is the son of Yegor Yakovlev, editor of "Moscow News" in the years of perestroika.