My father joined the RSDLP (B) in September of 1917 and, being a member of the regimental and division Soldiers’ Committees, was sent from the front to Petrograd where he heard Lenin speak on October 26. He would later tell us about it.
During the Civil War, starting as a private, he became commander of a cavalry regiment in the Red Army. Shortly after the end of the Civil War he was appointed as a special representative of the VChK-GPU on a section of the Soviet-Polish border. There he met a young seamstress who became his life’s companion. I remember his telling us, his sons, that when the White Poles were planning attacks on our border our side learned about it form father’s partner, a Polish communist who was a captain with the border guards. When our side needed it, he helped us by opening a section of the border.
In 1924 my father began working with soviets (councils) before becoming an economic manager. After graduating from the Industrial Academy he was a manager of plants and head of trusts in the forestry and pulp-and-paper industry. All our family, the sons of Ivan and Anna Alfyrov, identified ourselves with the October Revolution – the elder son Marx, who was born on January 1, 1924 and was enrolled in the trade union after “Red baptism” and Zhores, named after Jean Jaures, the founder of the French Socialist Party.