Thank you, Comrade Brezhnev!
1969. Soviet Union. Brezhnev’s time. My mom and sister in black and white. Life, a game of chess, with regular people just pawns to sacrifice, millions of meaningless lives to spare.
In Stalin’s time there was a famous slogan “Thank you, Comrade Stalin, for our happy childhood!” The Soviet rulers changed, but not the “happiness”. Personality was suppressed from early childhood, day-by-day turning people into restrained and subconsciously unfree beings.
A neighbor in the village reported that my grandmother had taken the portrait of Stalin off the wall in her house. That was enough to send her to Siberia for eleven years, leaving behind my two month old mother and labeling all of us, not yet born, with the title “family of the enemy of the Soviet people”.