This is my Grandma, Vera Nikolayevna Zimina (Guchkova was her maiden name), and her grandchildren: I'm the younger one sitting on her lap; the older child is my cousin Misha.
It is possible that Grandma already knew then that her younger son, my father Boris Nikolayevich Zimin, who had been arrested in the spring of 1935, had perished in the same year in a labor camp near Novosibirsk. He was thirty years old, and I was not even two. Below is his photo. Next to it is the cover of his book - the only memento I have left of my father.
While looking for documents from that era I came upon a photograph that would be a shame not to bring to your attention.
"Marching together" ("Nashi"-"Our Guys") in the 1935 version. (Photo by M. Markov-Grinberg, "At the Athletic Parade on Red Square.")
Marching together (Nashi Our Guys) in the 1935 version. (Photo by M. Markov-Grinberg, At the Athletic Parade on Red Square.)
As I recently discovered, my Grandmas older son, who was Mishas father and my uncle, Alexander Nikolayevich, used to be an active member of RSDRP (without the B, that is, not a Bolshevik).
He was arrested for the first time at the age of 17 or 18 and executed by a firing squad in 1938 in Saratov. Grandma probably did not find out about his passing until she was on her deathbed in 1943, and somehow she had always kept her hopes up for him.
His name was on a list of those condemned to be shot, a list handed over to the Military Tribunal of the 1st Category, signed by Stalin on September 12, 1938.
Once the signatures were in place, (Stalin, Molotov & Zhdanovs), the trial itself took but ten minutes. The sentence, execution by a firing squad, was carried out on the same day, October 27, 1938.


A group of exiled. Parabel (Narym), 1927. From left to right: A. Zimin, I. Rapiport, M. Kompaneetz, Kh. Shapiro (a Zionist, the rest  S-D).
A group of exiled. Parabel (Narym), 1927.
From left to right: A. Zimin. I. Rapiport, M. Kompaneetz, Kh. Shapiro (a Zionist, the rest S-D).

I only know of one photograph of Alexander Zimin, and it was of poor quality. I copied it from the book Memory, Historical Anthology 3, published in Paris by YMCA Press in 1980.
There is a curious inscription on the title page: This anthology was completed in Moscow in June of 1978.
I discovered in this book the following recollections of my uncle in a big article by T. Til, The Socialist-Democratic Youth Movement in the 1920s:
on Alexander Zimin. He was a very attractive and sincere man. I had the impression that he belonged to the category of merry melancholics: Lively, witty, he would write humorous poems in Russian and French for the amusement of his friends, being at the same time a very impressionable and vulnerable person. He was arrested for the first time in 1921; after 7 or 8 months of confinement in the

Butyrskaya and Orlovskaya prisons he was released, but in 5 months arrested again and exiled to the Orlov region, whence he escaped.
He was arrested again, and again escaped, this time from prison. He worked in the Rostov S-D organization until the fall of 1923.
In September of the same year he was arrested at the Irpen conference, and this time around he was sentenced to three years in prison. From 1923 on, things followed a pattern: 3 years of prison, 3 years of exile to the Narym region, then living on the lam for a while, interrupted by a new arrest but this time getting off with only a very short stay in the interrogation jail.
In 1931 came another arrest and 3 years of imprisonment in the Upper-Ural isolation jail for political prisoners.
Later, 3 years of exile, again in Narym region, more life on the lam in Saratov, where he was arrested for the last time in 1937. He died the same year. Did he die during interrogation, or on the march; was he shot, or did he take his own life? All outcomes are equally probable.

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