If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

The story of one photo. The Ayteevs

The story of one photo. The Ayteevs - e-history.kz
This old photograph from the family album has turned yellow with age. It cherishes the memory of difficult post-war years and the life of one Kazakh family.


I take this photo from our family album and stare at it intently. The picture is so old that may be damaged around the edges. On the reverse, I find an inscription made by purple ink — 1954. It is the year when the photo was taken. The picture depicts my great-grandfather Ayteev Kaskyrbay Amanbaevich (in all documents his name was Aleksandr Vasilyevich, because he was born in Novosibirsk region, Russia) and great-grandmother Ayteeva Anastasiya Nikolaevna. The little girls with them are my grandmother and aunt.

I start counting. If the photo was taken in 1954 it means that even a decade had not passed since the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The image shows modest clothing and serious expression of faces... Me granny told me that the life was difficult at that period. This picture is one of the oldest. There is simply no other one taken earlier because there were no cameras.

When I listen to stories of my grandfather and grandmother about the war (they know about it from the words of their parents), I try to imagine their life. I think about how people were waiting for a letter from their relatives fighting on the front. I imagine children going to the agricultural fields and collecting potatoes touched by frost. Women used potatoes to cook cakes, named "draniki" (it is made of grated raw potatoes). Frozen potato was sweet, but there was nothing tastier.

My great-grandfather Kaskyrbay Amanbaevich started working as a tractor driver when he was 13 years old. The total length of his employment is 42 years. He didn’t fight against the Nazis on the fronts of the Great Patriotic was because he was too young. However, after the war he served in the artillery in the Russian Far East for four years. And during all four years my great-grandmother and their little daughter were waiting for him.

I believe that, despite all the difficulties, this picture depicts a happy family. The great and terrible war had already ended, the household head served in the army and returned home safely and the children would have a peaceful and bright future. After a relatively short period of time, Anastasiya Nikolaevna gave birth to another daughter and long-awaited son. Very soon the family built their own house, the children went to school, and then they acquired good professions, established new families. So everything was as in other families...

This if the most important thing, as my granny says: all together and working together Soviet people overcame the war. They managed to establish a new life and reconstruct the economy destroyed by the war. It’s very exciting to me how people were proud of their country, believed that it was the best in the world and were ready to protect it until the very last minute of their lives...

I think many families in our country have the same photos. Each family has a hero to be proud of. May a war never come to our land. May it remains on old pictures only.

Makisheva Dana,
grade 8 student of the Secondary School № 3 for gifted children,