Orphaned children of the war and their destiny

Orphaned children of the war and their destiny

The Union of Journalists of Moscow together with the Russian Peace Foundation and the newspaper « Moskovskij Komsomolets» works over the project «Destiny of children evacuated to the republics of Central Asia». Organizers of the project have applied to the editorial office of ORIENT with the request to promote in search of descendants of the families accepting refugees or children, who were adopted by Turkmen nationals and who have been to this day living in our country.

Echelons with children and the refugees evacuated from the different parts of the USSR, started to arrive in Turkmenistan in August, 1941. Here scientists, writers, workers of cultural institutions and children who remained orphans, found a shelter and warm hospitality. To Turkmenistan the whole enterprises and some high schools, among them the Moscow State University were evacuated.

From the book of memoirs of the academician, physicist-theorist Andrey Sakharov, at the moment of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the student of the Moscow State University:

«On June 22, 1941 I together with other students of our group came for consultation before last examination of the 3rd course. Unexpectedly all of us were called in the lecture room. At 12 o’clock in the afternoon the message on the attack of Germany to the Soviet Union was broadcast.

The beginning of the war was always breaking the whole life, – always a shock, and always public tragedy.

… At last, we started to move to Ashgabat (there, under the governmental order, the university was evacuated). In every heated goods van with two two-story plank beds and an oven in the middle there were forty people. The road took us a whole month.

On December 6 the echelon arrived in Ashgabat. The same days our approach near Moscow began. When I learnt about it, I understood what weight lay on my soul all last months.

We should end training a year earlier, than supposed. The training was held Keshi, the suburb of Ashgabat. In the same place there were located administrative services. We lived in the city centre – at first in the school, then in a hostel, in one-storeyed small houses with flat, covered clay roof.

Among lecturers in Ashgabat in 1941-1942 – Prof. Spivak and Prof. Fursov, already had time to visit the front, the group of home guard and demobilised.

In streets of Ashgabat there grew a lot of mulberry (mulberry tree), and we strenuously collected juicy berries as it was serious help in our vitaminless food. It seems to me that for each of us – Ashgabat students – this half a year with small remained any deep, unforgettable period of life ».

Sakharov finished his study with honours in the MSU evacuated to Ashgabat. And there are a lot of such stories.

At present the Union of Journalists of Moscow conducts an active work on preparation of the conference devoted to destinies of children of war, evacuated to the republics of Central Asia. In connection with the coronavirus pandemic, the conference will be held in an online format. When the situation will allow, in Moscow they plan to carry out a big action with attraction of all interested persons.

Perhaps, among readers ORIENT there will appear those who are familiar to children or descendants of the refugees of the Great Patriotic War who were evacuated to Turkmenistan and found in these places warmth and hospitality. For interested persons to share memoirs, photos or other materials from the chronicle of those tragic years, the website e-mail functions: info@orient.tm