THE PRE-WAR PERIOD
I was about two years old when my parents and my grandfather
(by father) had came in Petrograd, where was living all that time my
grandmother. Thus whole my father's family (my mother was orphan) began
to live together. The family changed several places of residence and,
at last, had settled in Udel'naja --a beautiful part of Leningrad, where
all my pre-war life has been passing. We occupied garret of a cottage
in a garden surrounded by trees. In that time Udel'naja was for inhabitants
of Leningrad a summer season place and our hous was here a typical one.
My pre-war life in Leningrad was connected, to a great
extent, with learning and self-education, the letter being for me not
only in the extrem important source of knowledge, but also forming the
character, world outlook and ideology. I learned to read very early
before school age, read a great many books and was a quick reader. My
parents were common people having only elementary education but they
liked books very much and subscribed to collected works of well-known
writers. For example, I remember that we had the collected works of
Turgenev, Chehov, Gor'kij, the letter in cheap edition ( each number
consists of a fixed amount of printer's sheets so the beginning of a
work can be in a number and the end in another one). By the way, they
like music too and we formed something like a small orchestra: the father
played mandoline, the mather played guitar and I played balalaika. We
even appeared at amateur concerts in my school.
Of course, most of books which I read were lending
library ones. I think that librarians recommended me to read one or
another book, otherwise how can I myself get to know about such books
as "Utopia" of T. Moro, "Town of Sun" (the title of the russian translation)
of T. Campanella, "Red Star" and "Engineer Manny" of A.Bogdanov not
saying about such social utopians as R.Owen, Saint-Simon, Ch. Fourier.
Reading books gave an essential addition to my school education and
formed a habit to acquire knowledges from books immediately.
Of course I myself remember nothing of my beeing in Ussurijsk. Only
some desultary knowledges, which my mother was telling me about that
days, has remained in my memory. For example, my mother told me that
one day I went away somewhere. Of course I couldn't go too far, besides
I was dressed in a red shirt, so my mather found me fairly rapidly.
Nevertheless, she had been upset, runing about and asking everyones
whether they has seen a kiddy in a red shirt.
The next four years I lived
My primary school was situated quite near our house however to get there
it was necessary to cross railway tracks. I think that my parents were
accompaning me to school, but I don't remember it. There were many oaks
so we can gather acorns.
Shortened secondary school
In autumn of 1931 I had begun to learn at fourth class of 175-th shortended
secondary working schol of Vyborgskij district of Leningrad. At that
time all schools, with the exception of some special ones such as, for
example, drowing schools , called working schools since they were to
have given not only education but also an idea about basic kinds of
working activity and some habits of work.
In autumn of 1935 I had begun to learn in 12-th secondary school of
Vyborgskij district of Leningrad. That was the remarcable school. First
of all, as I imagin now, there were the capital teaching stuff and a
reasonable organization of studies. Head mistress was Sof'ja Naumovna
Pipkina, director of studies was Sof'ja Semenovna Soskind (bouth very
energatic women). My loved teachers were: mathematics teacher--Fedor
Illarionovich Dikij, literature teacher-- Lidija Nikiforovna Stotckaja
(very joung and handsome woman), chemistry teacher--Antonina Vasil'evna
Vasil'eva (very kind, joung woman). I remember also history teacher
Jakov Solomonovich Tcejtlin, phisical culture teacher Natal'ja Sergeevna
Jaroslavskaja (not high, joung, liveliness woman). Other teachers
Year 1938 proved to be a notable year of my life:
I finished the school with the gold school leaving certificate, I was
awarded books as a prize of Leningrad Mathematical Olympiad and I became
a student of mathematical- mechanical faculty of Leningrad State University
with no examenation in June. The whole two months were at my disposal
to rest. I don't remember how these months were used, but I am sure
that they stood me in good stead.