Medals for Labor

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
post - war medals: "dedicated labor"
post - war medals: "dedicated labor"

The words, "hopefully you will never see such things" are often used by my grandfather, Mikhail Minzberg, when he describes aspects of his life. It has been filled with unfortunate periods of loss and rapid adjustment and I must commend him for his bravery, determination, and incentive to persevere. If not for him, there may not have been a Minzberg family today. Born in 1924, he grew up in a small village in central Ukraine (former USSR), 150 miles South of the capital city of Kiev.  At the age of 17 he had left to WWII as a "dobravolets," meaning going with free will, alongside his older brother Naum. The man served throughout the war in the anti - aircraft division, receiving notable medals such as the Red Star for courageous action in commanding against an uprising attack of captured SS troops, as well as for the siege of Berlin and protection of territory in the Caucuses. Coming back from war, my grandfather came back to find a new adversity however, against Jews living in the Soviet Union. He had discovered that his family had perished in the Holocaust and the man eventually set out to build a new life for himself, as an engineer. He describes Stalin as seeming to put up with Jews during the war, but beginning his anti - semitic purges shortly after. These medals pictured above are unlike the war medals. They are for dedicated work and allegiance to the Communist state, which my grandfather received in the period of Destalinification, under Khrushchev and Brezhnev. 

Year: 1999

– Frederic Minzberg

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant