Fort Russ E-book: Kurchatov – The Father of the Soviet Nuclear Bomb. Part 5. Victory


The exodus of the ‘Whites’ from Crimea

August 30, 2015

Peter Astashenkov: “Kurchatov”

Published by “Molodaya Gvardiya”, 1968

Translated by Kristina Rus for Fort Russ



What’s next?

Life in Crimea under the yoke of  Wrangel became more difficult. Only because of red tape at the time of recording of his birthday in Sim, Igor managed to avoid being drafted into Wrangel’s army.

There was no question about what to do after graduating from gymnasium for Igor and his family. All agreed on one thing: he must continue his studies. There was no question of where to study. Taurida University, established during the civil war by the efforts of professors, who by fate ended up in Crimea, was the only higher education institution on the peninsula, cut off from the entire country.

The first months at the university for Igor and his comrades were overshadowed by the oppressive atmosphere of the wild revelry of Wrangel. And like a new thunder sounded the peals of cannon volleys at Perekop. All the changes of the situation at the front the students accurately guessed by the behavior of Simferopol’s rich: the closer were the reds, the faster, forgetting the appearances, ran these aces, the longer grew the columns of the fleeing.

With red bows on their chest the young Simferopol residents greeted the regiments of the Red Army in November, 1920. By the petition of the students the Crimean University was named after the liberator of Crimea – Mikhail Vasilyevich Frunze.

With the victory of the Red Army quite a different atmosphere reigned at the university. Liberty, equality, fraternity ceased to be abstract notions, they literally stepped into the auditoriums and classrooms, have become part of life. The University has established committees of the employees and students. There was total democracy. Even the grades were abolished. Each student had to grade his own response, the records were stamped with only “pass” or “fail”. On the optional disciplines the grade was even easier: “attended such a course”.

But most importantly – the students were given the same rations as the employees.

Since then, notes one of the fellow students of Kurchatov: “We finally were given a real opportunity to study.”

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