Nikita Khushchev’s Teacher: Antonina G. Gladky Remembers: With Unique Insight into Nikita Khushchev's Politically Formarive Years as a Communist Politician and a Rising Party Leader by Olga Gladky Verro
Nikita Khrushchev's Teacher memoir is intertwined with history as lived, documented, and remembered by Antonina G. Gladky, one of the millions of women, caught in the whirlwind of catastrophic historical events of the twentieth-century Russia and the Soviet Union. The events, written and narrated, tell with the authentic voice her life story that is personal in detail and historical in scope. It documents how Russian Revolution, Civil War, Communist Party and Bolsheviks’ totalitarian dictatorial regime, and Stalin's bloody terror shaped her fate.
Nikita Krushchev’s Teacher has a rare bonus for the readers: the unique insight into Nikita Khrushchev's politically formative years as a Communist politician and a rising party member.
Nikita Khrushchev's Teacher is abridged from In the Web of History: Old Russia and Soviet Union – Book One of Historical Family Memoirs.
Nikita Khrushchev’s Teacher is a treasure of up-close, intensely personal story intertwined with history as lived, documented, and remembered by Antonina G. Gladky, one of the millions of women, caught in the whirlwind of catastrophic historical events of twentieth century Russia and Soviet Union. The events, written and narrated, tell with authentic voice her life story that is personal in detail and historical in scope. They document how Russian revolution, Communist Party, Bolsheviks totalitarian dictatorial regime, and Stalin’s bloody terror shaped her fate.
Her memoirs have a rare bonus for inquisitive readers, history buffs, and historians. As a teacher, she presents unique insight into Nikita Khrushchev’s politically formative years as a communist politician and as a rising Party Leader.
The story begins with the peaceful life of Antonina’s ancestors in Old Russia and her happy childhood growing up in a small provincial town in southeastern Ukraine. It brings to life the not-so-distant past with its rich details of daily life, customs and traditions that have been lost with time and vanished from the memory of new generations.
World War I, Russian Revolution, and Civil War brought chaos and destruction to the country and suffering and loss of life to people from battles, hunger and disease. Antonina’s family tragedy struck at the time when she was starting her independent life as a teacher. But the course of her life had changed forever when she married Orest, her former student and White Army veteran, who returned home after fighting Reds to save his Motherland in the last battles for Crimea.
After Bolsheviks have seized the power and established Soviet Union – the first socialist state – Antonina and Orest, like all the people in the country, became pawns of the Communist totalitarian regime. To keep its control over population the State used fear, terror and persecutions of suspected enemies, among them White veterans who were disenfranchised and declared to be “the enemies of the people.”
Antonina’s family life became a struggle to survive not only the adversities imposed by the Soviet government on its people but also to prevent her husband being caught by the secret police. To evade inquiries into his White Army veteran past, they moved from place to place in their native Ukraine. Notwithstanding constant fear and tension, Antonina and Orest remained always true to their profession as educators.
Olga Gladky Verro is a Ukrainian native of the World War Two generation who came to America in 1959 as a Displaced Person, with her Italian husband and their two children, none of them speaking English.
She came by the way of Nazi invasion, forced labor under the Germans, and escaped from the advancing Soviets who sought to seize and send to the gulags all who had been under Nazi influence.
It was in these times that she came under Soviet artillery fire, with her mother enabled the escape of her father from a Nazi concentration camp hospital prison ward.
Her parents and Olga were forced laborers in Germany. There she met the Italian airman who was a prisoner of war of the Germans and he was to spirit her into Italy at war’s end and became her husband of fifty years and father of their two children.
As a quick learner of English (that became Olgas sixth language) and a former engineering student of Moscow Power Institute (1940-1941), by 1966 she earned a baccalaureate, subsequently master’s and doctoral degrees at University of Connecticut (by 1977). And she gave her best to the new country by educating American children until her retirement.