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Yanks for Stalin
Interview Transcript

Feodor Chinchenko
Worker in the GAZ auto factory in 30's

The following interview was conducted as a part of the documentary program Yanks for Stalin concerning American aid in the industrial development of the Soviet Union during the 20's and 30's:


Q.  How did you end up with the Americans?

A.  After completing FZU back home, I was sent here to assist in the development of automotive production.  Upon my arrival I was assigned to stamp parts on huge presses.  Of those whose names I can remember there is Duman, a Frenchman, Honter, a Ukrainian, Yuvashek, a Pole.  They all worked in our group.  They set up equipment and got it running, while I was given the job of checking parts against the layouts and drawings, after which I would apply a sticker, meaning that the part had passed inspection.

Q.  What was written on it?

A.  O.K.  That is, okay.  And the first letter of my surname, Ch.

Q.  You did that every time?

A.  Yes.  After I would approve a part, production of thousands of such parts would begin.

Q.  Show us how.

A.  I would place the sticker, and that part would remain here until the end of the production run.  Then it would be sent for installation.  The nextů

Q.  And what was written on it?

A.  O.K.  Okay.  In compliance with the design.  Serviceable.  Made correctly.

Q. And what was written on it?

A.  Okay.  Okay was written on it.  And my initial, Ch.

Q.  Did the Americans teach you anything?

A.  They taught me, without a doubt.  First of all, they taught me a little English.  They taught us how to read drawings.  Not all design drawings are made the way they're done in Russia.  I didn't understand some of the writings and abbreviations on the drawings, and they taught me how to interpret them.  I began to understand how to check parts against drawings, and when the Americans left, I knew exactly what to do in order to ensure that the part was in strict compliance with the design.

Q.  Were the Americans really needed here?  And if so, why?

A.  They were needed first of all to check over the equipment that had been delivered and installed.  They checked it, and it was ready for production.  Secondly, they had to teach our troubleshooters and masters how to work with the equipment, how to adjust the presses and fix stampers if something goes wrong.

Q.  Would it have been difficult to do all this without the assistance of the Americans?

A.  We could have done it, but it would have taken much more time, because on some lines there were no Americans, only Russian specialists from Petersburg and Moscow who managed to get those lines running.  The only difference was the amount of time.

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