Interviewee: Lev Mistetskiy
Title: Lev Mistetskiy with his wife Galina Mistetskaya and comrades
Place and Date: Vinnitsa, Ukraine - 2004
This is me in the center and my wife Galina Mistetskaya, nee Drinkovskaya, 2nd from the left, with my fellow comrades at the meeting of veterans of the Great Patriotic War. We were photographed next to the Monument to the Unknown Soldier in Vinnitsa on 20th March 2004. My awards on the left side from top to bottom: Order of the Red Banner, Order of the Patriotic War, Ist class, medal for Liberation of Kiev. On the right - medals for liberation of towns and medals issued by the jubilee dates of victory over Germany.
In 1992 I was given the status of a war invalid. It's hard for me to walk, my wounded leg bothers me. The military office provided me a small capacity car. I retired in 1996 and my younger son Anatoliy convinced me to move to Kiev into his apartment. He lived with his wife. My wife was very ill, and here the hospital is close by. When we moved to Kiev, I was allowed a piece of land for a garage for my car near the house, being an invalid of the war. We constructed a garage where I brought my car from Lipovets and immediately my neighbor commented that he couldn't get a place for his garage, but I, being a cunning Jew, managed to get this space. I really think it will take more than one generation before anti-Semitism disappears from our life.
Hesed helps us a lot. They deliver food packages, free medications, and that's a great support for us, pensioners. We receive little pensions, lower than the living minimum. There are also interesting lectures in Hesed, clubs, concerts, and we celebrate birthdays and Jewish holidays there. I rarely go to Hesed - it's a long way to drive, which is too much for me, but I always attend concerts of Jewish songs and music, however hard it may be for me. I like this so much. I also regularly receive and read Jewish newspapers. When I moved to Kiev, I got to know that there is an association of Jewish war veterans and I registered there right away. I try to attend all meetings there.