We neither know which authorities decided about all this, nor are there any
papers proving that the whole procedure was legal, but one thing is certain: the
instructions about which districts they would have to resettle in had already
been dropped a long time before. My great-grandparents were assigned the
Sukhobusimo district. They were taken to Zaton (town district of Krasnoyarsk (boat-yard);
translator's note) early in the morning. From time to time they were using
passenger steamers to transport the deporteed further, but such a "comfort"
was not a daily occurrence. This time hundreds of people, among them lots of
children in early infancy, were loaded on board the towboat "Krasnoyarskiy
rabochiy" ("Krasnoyarsk Worker"; translator's note), where they
had to find themselves a place between winches, barrels filled with petrol
residues and boxes in which the ropes were kept.
Finally they reached Atamanovo. At the grain receiving point a string of
carts arrived: it was loaded with grain from Kovrigino. The driver allowed the
family of my grandfather Robert Frank and some other families to join the trek.
After twenty days full of strains nobody was surprised when the carter announced
that Kovrigino was situated at a distance of forty verst (1 verst = 1,06 km). For almost one hour they had to walk uphill. Everybody,
except the little children, was walking on foot. Having passed two less steep
slopes, the adults decided to find themselves one of the seats available to both
sides of the rack waggons, but soon after there was another rise. They reached
Kovrigino only at dusk and were assigned accomodation with a single, ill woman.
They stayed there till the spring. Grandmother Maria's (Gof / Hof) family got to
Shila, grandmother Barta's (Sokolovskaya) to Krasnye Gorki.
In the month of March 1942 the adult men and somewhat elder boys were called
up to the labour army. The same thing happened to my great-grandfathers Veniamin
Solkolovskiy, Fyodor Frank and Georgiy Gof (Hof); they were forced to work as
lumberjacks. They had to work very hard, but only received little and very bad
food. Many did not return to their families. My great-grandfathers, too, never
came home again. The women were left behind with their children; life had to go
on, however, and so all children, except for the little ones, went to work. In
the winter they prepared firewood for the Sukhobusimsk thermal power-station,
during the summer they made unburnt clay bricks filled with straw or other
fibrous materials - all by hand.
In these disastrous, baneful years the aboriginal Siberian population also
had a hard life. In 1941 they called my other great-grandfather, Leonid
Vasilyevich Bykov, who was born in the village of Nakhvalka, up to the army. He
became a sergeant of the guards and commanded a unit. He was killed in action in
February 1945. They buried him in the village of Prerstitten (as the place was
then called) in the Kaliningrad region (Poland). This is what we learned from
the "Book of Memory". They sent my great-grandmother a telegram
informing her that he was missing. In fact, he was not heard of again.
Great-grandmother Lisa was also left behind as a widow, with two little children
holding the hands of their mother. One of them was my grandfather Nikolay
Leontyevich Bykov. He managed to finish the primary school. It was impossible
for him to attend school any longer, since there were seven children in the
family, but only one provider - the mother. He had to help the family and so he
went to work. They were working all day and night, for many, many hours - just
to get a small piece of bread. He became an adult and got married to Berta
Sokolovskaya. Although he could not read and write very well, he became a
first-class driver and later a leading tractorist. For his reliable work he was
not only once awarded certificates and medals of honour and received cash
prizes. He worked throughout his whole lifetime. No sooner had he retired, he
started repairing the motors of several tractors of the K-700 type, since none
other than my grandfather was able to execute this kind of work in the "Tayoszhniy" sovkhoz. He is now living in Bolshye Prudy; his poor
health, however, does not allow him to do any kind of work anymore.
My grandmother, Berta Bykova (Sokolovskaya), finished the seven-class school
somewhere in the Pavlovesk region; one could only attend and complete the 8th
grade at the school in Sukhobusimo. And then grandma Berta and her mum moved to
the third branch of the "Tayozhniy" sovkhoz, and every morning grendma
Berta went to school to Sukhobusimo on foot, together with some other children,
and back home in the evening. Grandma Berta particularly liked to go to school
in winter - on skis. Within half an hour they were on the spot. She finished
school and started going to work. She did a good job - at first as a simple
worker in a crop brigade, later she was appointed as field-team leader. She was
responsible for the whole brigade; she never tired herself out with working, but
drudged day and night. Grandmother was awarded certificates of honour and
received numerous valuable gifts. Moreover she was handed over three medals for
her participation in the All-Russian Agricultural Exhibitions in 1955, 1957 and
1958. In recognition of her extraordinarily good work she was sent to Rybinsk to
study at the technical secondary school of agriculture. She finished her studies
and happened to get to the second branch, where she was employed as a live-stock
expert. Grandmother was a very attentive, responsible and reliable woman. When
When the bookkeeper was to be replaced, she agreed that she would take over
the office from him, but nevertheless she did not beglect her main tasks. It was
pleasant and easy to work with her in the office. She was sent to attend
accountancy courses. Grandma Berta mastered these tasks, as well as any others,
outstandingly well. She began to work as an economist and rate-setter. She was a
cheerful, understanding person, prepared to help other people at any time. Shee
has been kept in fond remembrance till nowadays. I have never seen my
grandmother, because she passed away before I was born.
Four children were born to Nikolay and Berta Bykov: Vladimir (1962), Viktor
(1965), Valentina (1966) and Alexander (1976).