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Jan/Feb 2019

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Spotlight

Peter Bridges


(This is an excerpt—click on the title to view the full piece)
 

The Tale of Igor

My father, Vladimir Mikhailovich Smirnovski, was a professor of mathematics in the Stalingrad Industrial Pedagogical Institute, a key institution. His work was well known. What was little known—except to the KGB—was that his father, Mikhail Petrovich Smirnovski, came from a noble family and had been a Tsarist general. Fortunately for the general and his relatives, he had joined the new Red Army in 1918, had become a Soviet general and retired before Stalin executed his top officers in 1937. The general died peacefully during World War II, having escaped execution or the Gulag. His grandson met a different fate.

 

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