Available as a 1000x1300 JPEG or a 2100x2700 JPEG (1.1MB)

Center: Stepan Mikhailovitsch Vasilyev (1888—1957?)
Left:  his immediate commander
Right:  a fellow soldier


Photo taken in 1914. Stepan Vasilyev is my great-grandfather.
He was captured by German troops in Poland in 1916 and was a prisoner of war in Germany through 1920, then returned to his village in Russia and married my great-grandmother, Elena Fyodorovna Egorova, the same year. Elena had been a widow raising five daughters from her first marriage; her last sixth child born in 1922 was my grandma, Darya Stepanovna Makarova (maiden name Vasilyeva).
My relatives lost track of Stepan after he was conscripted in 1941. There are two versions on what happened to him. One is that he perished in the World War II. The other is that he chose to silently disappear and lived in other place(s) in the USSR until his death in 1957. The latter version was suggested by a private letter sent from somewhere in the Yaroslavsky district in 1957 and addressed to the council of the village where he lived before the war. The letter informed of his death. It was forwarded to my relatives, but nobody of them, especially his widow, wanted to believe this version and follow up.
Extra data: born on August 18, 1888; was conscripted into army when he was 22 (in 1910), initially served in Chita. When a POW, worked on a farm near Hamburg. Married on October 14, 1920. VM’s comment: the version of Stepan’s death in the war was actually a plausible explanation of his disappearance, because many Soviet soldiers conscripted right after the beginning of the war perished tracelessly, with no information on where their remains lay available from the authorities.

This picture is a part of Makarov’s family photo archive (ref. nr. arc-im1).

600dpi flatbed scan from print (cropped area 9 x 11.5 cm). Retouched.

Vadim Makarov