Year when photo was taken:1943Country name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Ukraine
This is my elder brother Grigoriy Rogovoy. This is the picture he sent to my parents from the front. There is a medal on his chest "For military merits". It is written on the reverse side "To my dear parents - daddy and mommy from their loving son Grisha. May 1, 1943. The southern front.”
Grigoriy finished secondary school and wanted to go on with education. Father was repressed, and it would be an obstacle for Grigoriy if he stayed in Kiev. He had to conceal father's arrest. Brother left for a small town Konstantinovka [about 550 km from Kiev], located in Donetsk oblast and entered chemical and silicate vocational school, the faculty of construction materials manufacturing. Nobody knew about our family in Konstantinovo, therefore my brother was accepted. Of course, he filled in certain entry in the form by writing that his father was a worker. Brother got married at a young age during his studies in vocational school. His wife's name was Anna. She was a Jew, and her father was also repressed. Brother stayed to work in Konstantinovo after he had finished his studies.
After father's return Grigoriy moved to Kiev with his family. He worked as a chief engineer for a construction trust in Kiev. Grigoriy's elder daughter Tsilya was born in Konstantinovo in 1935, and the younger daughter Liudmila was born in 1937. Brother was very talented, he had a wonderful voice. He was sent to talent contests in Moscow, where he won 1st prizes. There were articles about him in the paper Izvestiya [one of the most popular communistic papers in the USSR, issued in the period of 1917- 1980s, with the circulation exceeding eight million copies]. If brother had finished conservatoire instead of technical vocational school, he would definitely become a well-known singer.
On June 21, 1941 Grigoriy was taken to the army. He took part in defense of Kiev during the first war months. During retreat he was in blockade, being imminent with capture. If that happened, he would not survive. They were in blockade in August, 1941 and broke through in September. In period of September-December he was in Ukraine with a group of people, hiding in the woods, bogs and haystacks. In winter they swam across unfrozen Don and found the location of our troops. Grigoriy was afflicted by an acute joint rheumatism, and was about to die. After that he was transferred to noncombatant troops. Brother was a wonderful singer. There were times when he with the front-field band was giving concerts for the soldiers. In the course of time Grigoriy managed to return to combatant troops. As during peace times he was in construction, he appeared in armored engineering troops. He was a color sergeant. Grigoriy was in the infantry of the 62nd army on the front-line of Voronezh. He took part in Stalingrad battles. To my surprise I learnt from Grigoriy, that we were both in the same army, the 62nd . We were close by, but never met, and did not know about each other. After Stalingrad brother fought by Rostov on the Southern front, on Caucasus, during setting Kiev free. He was in Poland, and fought for Poland with our troops. He freed Budapest and Berlin, took part in the fights for Prague. At that time he was the deputy commandant of the Czechoslovakian city Brno, which was a pretty high position. Taking into account his education, brother was recurrently offered to stay in the army as a professional military. My brother objected to that, because he had two children and wanted to come back to them. Nevertheless, Grigoriy was demobilized only in December 1946. He started his service in the army on June 21, 1941 on the eve of war, and finished it a year and a half after war. He got very many awards. After he came back to Kiev, he started working and studying in engineering and construction institute. He became a construction engineer after graduation. He worked in many design constructions organizations such as: "Ìåzhkolkhozstroy", "Kievgorstroy" etc. What really appealed to him was participation in restoration of Kiev, devastated by war. He was a gifted engineer, had a lot of reasonable propositions on manufacture of construction materials, in particular brick.