Photo of the school graduation in the village issue in 1939

The central exhibit of the composition is a photo of the 1939 graduation of the seven-year school in the village of Ivot.

This photo miraculously survived Wehrmacht’s punitive action on March 10, 1943, in the family of Pelagia Chubun (Struk), though her house was burned down. Pelagia herself (9th in the second row) was a forced laborer in Germany at the Eibia GmbH powder factory at the time. The photo shows the Osnach sisters: Tetiana (13th in the fourth row) and Maria (6th in the second row). Tetiana had been deported to Germany together with Pelagia and died of tuberculosis in 1945. This is in fact one of her few latest photos. In the picture, we also see village teacher Semyon Zhurilo (7th in the third row) and his wife Zinaida (12th in the fourth row). Semyon taught physics and mathematics at the Ivot high school. Zinaida taught biology. For health reasons, Semyon was not drafted into the Red Army at the beginning of the war. In September 1941, German gunners stayed in their house for several weeks, according to the diary of one of them, Eberhard von Hanksleden.

This graduation photo symbolizes the story of the entire military generation. In the photo, the children and their teachers are still together, but in just a few years, life will scatter them around the world. Five fought at the frontlines. Three died. Ten graduates were deported for forced labor in Germany, three of them never to return.