Alexander Palace Forum

Virtual Pushkin => Meet the People => Topic started by: Janet_W. on August 18, 2006, 02:31:28 PM

Title: Pushkin Memories
Post by: Janet_W. on August 18, 2006, 02:31:28 PM
Since I think the subject heading "Wow" might confuse some AP browsers--it confused me!--I'm starting a "Pushkin Memories" thread . . . and perhaps someone who currently lives in Pushkin, or has visited or is about to visit Pushkin, can start a "Pushkin Today" thread, or something with a similar title.

Many years ago my neighbor Elsa lived with her family in a small cottage just outside of Pushkin proper. For weeks radio annoucements had been warning residents that the Germans were on their way and to dig trenches around their homes and prepare for a possible battle. Soon after these announcements Elsa's father, a Hermitage caretaker and World War I Russian Army veteran, was shot and killed by a German sniper. With a neighbor's help they hurriedly buried him between a lilac bush and an apple tree, then Elsa, her mother, two younger brothers and baby sister retreated, along with numerous other Pushkin residents, to a nearby water filtration plant, where they took refuge just as  the bombing began. That was how Elsa spent her sixteenth birthday--hunkered down in the bunker-like atmosphere of the filtration plant with her family and fellow Pushkin residents while bombs exploded all around them, as she held on to her baby sister who, within a short time, would die due to lack of proper food and medication. At night Elsa's mother, like many others, went out foraging through the unharvested fields for food for her children. It was during one of these forays that a German sniper shot her in the foot. There were no doctors available to remove the tightly embedded bullet. So early in the new year, Elsa and her two younger brothers, ages 14 and 10, made a decision: They would evacuate to Estonia and take turns pulling their mother on a sled.

Elsa's memories are very clear on all that I have mentioned, but she doesn't remember exact locations. I have often wondered if that filtration plant still in existence, and exactly where it is/was located. Perhaps someone who sees this post will know.

Title: Re: Pushkin Memories
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 20, 2006, 02:30:21 PM
Thanks, Janet, for posting this story.

I seem to remember that there is something like a water treatment plant near Dvortzovaia Street in Pushkin, not far from the Catherine and Alexander Palaces, but I can't say for sure... This plant didn't seem to be operational anymore. This could be the place that your friend was referring to....
Title: Re: Pushkin Memories
Post by: Janet_W. on August 23, 2006, 12:46:12 PM
Thanks, Helen! I'll ask Elsa if this is the one, though her description sounded to me as if the filtration plant might have been "off the beaten track," and that many people needing a refuge from the bombs heard about it only through frantic word-of-mouth.